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Doors closed on NHS 'institutions'

9th August 2007

The Department of Health is to move around 2,000 people with learning disabilities into their own houses.

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The inhabitants of NHS "campuses" have lived for over ten years in the institutions. The campuses are due to be shut down by 2010.

Local authorities and trusts will bid for a portion of the £175m offered by the government for the rehousing process.

Dame Jo Williams from Mencap said the funding provided an "incentive" for the organisations to "get on with closure plans, so people with a learning disability can live their lives the way they want, within their community".

She said the people with learning disabilities should be able "to make choices about where and how they live."

The Department of Health has stressed that "noone will be left alone" and people will receive consistent help and care.

Campaigners have raised objections to the quality of life available for people living on the NHS campuses. They argue that the inhabitants are not given enough independence or freedom and are allowed only £20 pocket money a week.

Jo Kidd, director of The Skillnet Group, says the process was "very complicated" and must take into account what each person wanted.

Care services minister Ivan Lewis said the process would end "one of the darkest chapters in our nation's history".

He said that people with learning disabilities should have the "right" to their own homes and to be part of the community. He stated that they would receive "high quality support".

 




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Article Information

Title: Doors closed on NHS 'institutions'
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 3686
Date Added: 9th Aug 2007

Sources

BBC News

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