‘A hospital should never be home’

Scottish ministers have been urged to ensure nobody with learning disabilities has to live in a hospital following the case of Winterbourne View in Bristol.

A series of alleged abuses of residents at the private hospital was identified in a BBC Panorama programme.

Now Scottish campaigners have added their signatures to a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron calling for a programme of action in response to problems identified.

They have also sent the letter to Scottish ministers and senior civil servants as they say the same issues could arise north of the border.

Dr Lisa Curtice, director of the Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability, was one of 86 expert signatories to the letter, which calls for action to maintain standards in institutions designed for people with learning disabilities, and ultimately their replacement with more appropriate services.

She said: “Scottish policy is clear that no-one should have a hospital as their home. All our services have to be based on human rights.

“There are good examples in Scotland of person-centred services and staff trained in positive approaches to support behaviour. These enable people to live safely in the community. Where gaps in local services exist, we need agreement between health and social work to fund alternatives that prevent people having to be admitted to inappropriate services.”