Analysis of inquiries into malpractice in hospitals for people with ID and mental health problems (Martin, 1984) identified a coalescence of problems: resource limitations;     professional isolation; low expectations; closed situations; management who stifle criticism; and service oversight from people who lack knowledge/expertise. These were all present in Winterbourne View (2011).

Inpatient rates are being influenced by the decisions of healthcare entrepreneurs to locate in areas where house prices are lower and that once there, the length of their stay in hospital will be influenced by the care infrastructure that is in place. By allowing this industry to develop in this way the government has been complicit in the development of a system that fundamentally undermines the human rights of people with learning disabilities and/or ASD and their families (Brown, James & Hatton, 2017).

The view that it is possible to close all (NHS & independent) hospital provision has proved unrealistic so far, but it creates a therapeutic limbo. Signs of the beginning-of-the-end of liberal individualism encourage exploration of new ways to generate psychologically-minded environments: not only for people who are challenging but also for the staff and families involved with them. We will examine European social pedagogy, the RCP’s Enabling Environments, and Heijkoop’s Discovery Awareness.


To book your place, please contact Angela Fox (angela.fox@hmc.ox.ac.uk).

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