My Views Matter

Between April 2018 and July 2020, three patients, Joanna, “Jon” and Ben, died at Cawston Park Hospital in North Norfolk, having suffered neglect and abuse. They were all in their 30s, and they all had learning disabilities. An important finding of reports into the tragedy was that the views of patients and their families were systematically ignored by the hospital. As part of the system response to these events, the Healthwatch Norfolk board agreed to undertake a review of the residential and in-patient sector caring for people with learning disabilities and autistic people.

The feedback that we gathered during this project has yielded substantial positive feedback and useful examples of best practice. In our attempt to gain an overview of how people are being listened to in the sector, we have not found that the problems present at Cawston Park are widespread in the sector. In most cases people have avenues for having their voices heard, and most relatives felt that they were being listened to well.

However, the people we spoke to also identified several important areas for improvement. These included building stronger relationships with staff, the importance of managers being well-informed and engaged in the life of a home, ensuring the homes are as personalised as possible for residents, making sure residents can maintain relationships with friends from earlier in their lives, and arrangements are made for parents who are less mobile to visit their children.

You can read the full detailed recommendations and find out more by downloading the full report below.

My relative considers the staff to be her friends, and the staff understand her well. They know how to communicate with her, and know the things that she doesn't like.

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