A recent petition was heard at the Scottish Parliament arguing that there should be more care home provision for people with profound learning disabilities. (see our full response)
As an organisation we do not think people with learning disabilities flourish in large care homes. Small care homes for 4 or 5 people can be indistinguishable from many ordinary houses in the community and can allow individual many more opportunities to be part of the local society. Small care homes also offer their residents regular opportunities for social interactions which may be hard for them in other situations.
Scot Excel, the Scottish procurement body has already taken on comments like this and is currently finalising a framework agreement to improve the quality of new care services that are purchased by local authorities to meet the needs to people with learning disabilities that they are responsible for.
The official figures say the numbers who stay in care homes for people with learning disabilities fell by about 20% in the 3 years up to 2014. However almost half of this fall is due to just 5 big homes changing— 2 homes closed because of poor quality care and 3 homes changed their client groups to others such as “older people”.
We are already know that many other people with learning disabilities end up in large homes registered for older people. Currently there are 250 large homes registered for older people (over 20 residents) supporting up to 1,000 adults with learning disabilities.
With many local authorities setting a maximum rate for individual Self Directed Support Budgets at the level of the local residential care home rate, we think this means that there will be more pressure on people with greater needs to move into residential care homes.
We must plan properly for people’s needs and stop placing people on the basis of where there is a vacancy.