Services should be fit for purpose in every Local Authority across England; we shouldn’t have certain areas falling behind in this day and age!
I did a role that was like a quality checker when I lived in Swindon, and checked services in Gloucestershire.
You find out what’s good and what’s not working and just put down your findings. It’s all about research.
It is important that people with learning disabilities and family members do this. It’s important that they play a part in making sure these services are of a high standard and give people the support they really want.
Services must be fit for the 21st Century. They need to support people to have homes, jobs and relationships and everything else that life offers.
There is a lot that needs to be done.
All services in England need to be checked to make sure they are top standard. It shouldn’t matter where you live – you should be able to expect a high quality service wherever you are.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) should listen to people and families. They should be led by People who use services and their families, because they will have the knowledge of what is expected from people who use these services.
There are already Experts by Experience and Quality Checkers all over the country but there needs to be more of them and professionals need to really listen to them.
If it was done by providers or social workers they could be biased and will not learn anything.
Quality checkers should be independent and what they find out should be shared with the public. This will be more than just tick boxes and the public will have the right to know.
These reports should be easy to find – anyone should be able to find them and look at them. They need to be accessible with no jargon.
Quality checking needs to go beyond public services, we need to look at all services that people with learning disabilities and their families use. We must look at Charity and Private services and the effects they have on the lives of people who use them.
A great service is a service that is designed for people with learning disabilities and also designed by people with learning disabilities.
People with learning disabilities deserve the best.
By Gary Bourlet