August 2012

Projects across Scotland are set to benefit from £2.7million to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities. The funding aims to close the inequality gap that people with a learning disability face.

Initiatives include helping people with a learning disability get back into work, encouraging children with a learning disability to be more active and creating opportunities for participation in lifelong learning.

The new National Occupational Standards for Supported Employment have now been approved and published. The standards cover the whole of the United Kingdom and were developed by LSIS, the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS). BASE was closely involved with their development. The National Occupational Standards (NOS) provide the statements of skills and knowledge needed by the supported employment workforce.

This report sets out the findings from a small-scale qualitative study of frontline Jobcentre Plus staff, commissioned to supplement the existing evidence base that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) holds about working age claimants with complex needs. The study explored how complex needs are defined by Jobcentre Plus staff, which claimants Jobcentre Plus staff consider to have complex needs and why, and identify any areas for improvement to the service Key findings are as follows:

The Department of Health's Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development Funds 2013-14 are open for applications until 21 September 2012.

Applicants are invited to submit proposals to develop new, innovative approaches to health and care, actively share excellent practice or improve integrated care and efficiency.

The National Audit Office has criticised government targets for Atos' work capability assessment contract as "too easy".

A new report published by Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation reveals the scale of the abuse and neglect of people with a learning disability at assessment and treatment centres like Winterbourne View.

‘Out of sight’ has been published by Mencap and The Challenging Behaviour Foundation. Since the Winterbourne View scandal, the two charities have received 260 reports from families who are concerned that loved ones with a learning disability are being neglected or abused in institutional-style care.

The report into abuse at the Winterbourne View care home, first exposed by an undercover investigation by the BBC TV show Panorama last year, has heavily criticised not only the owners but also health regulators, the local health service and police.