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Watchdog praises progress of PCT censured over disabled services

4 June 2008

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The Healthcare Commission has commended the progress of a PCT it had previously criticised for neglecting people with learning disabilities.

Publishing the findings of a progress report, the Commission said today (4 June 2008) that Sutton and Merton PCT had made “good progress” on improving services it provides for people with learning disabilities.

It said the PCT has made considerable strides in modernising its services, has improved safety, strengthened its senior management team and ensured its wider clinical team has the “right skills”.

In January 2007, a report of an investigation by the Commission set out how “outmoded institutionalised care” had led to the neglect of people with learning disabilities at the PCT.

The Commission made 25 recommendations and required the trust to prepare an action plan as a matter of urgency to address its concerns.

Earlier this year, the Healthcare Commission investigators visited the trust to review progress against the action plan. The Commission found that progress had been made.

Nigel Ellis, Head of Investigations at the Commission, said: “There is no doubt that the trust faced a considerable challenge to modernise its services.

“It has made considerable inroads to improving the safety of people and to deliver a model of care that is person-centred and puts choice and control for service users at the heart of what they do.”

However, the Commission has identified additional key areas where continued development is needed by Sutton and Merton PCT. It has asked the trust to improve the leadership skills of home managers, and promote a culture of good practice based on the needs of service users that is applied consistently across the service.

Healthcare Commission