Resonance Feasibility Report Sets Out Social Investment Solution to Winterbourne View Problem

New report published by Resonance as part of Sir Stephen Bubb’s commission to develop a third sector solution to transforming the commissioning of services for people with learning disabilities and/or autism ~

In a new report published today, social impact investment company Resonance calls for Government to commit £30 million to a “Life in the Community” Social Investment Fund. The call is published in ‘Winterbourne View and Social Investment’, commissioned by the Social Investment Business and Big Society Capital, as part of the remit of the committee established by the CEO of the NHS, Simon Stevens, and chaired by Sir Stephen Bubb, to commission a framework to transform services for people with learning disabilities.   The report outlines a third sector solution to the Winterbourne View problem:  namely, over 3000 people with learning difficulties around the country, who are residing in inpatient facilities, where personal, health system and societal outcomes are often very poor.

Drawing on input from experienced sector practitioners and provider organizations, the report recommends that the new  “Life in the Community” Social Investment Fund should be used to attract much larger amounts of social investment into two linked initiatives:

  • firstly, a “Payment for Outcomes” Fund to finance the transition costs out of inpatient facilities (including property adaptation) into supported living;
  • secondly, a linked Social Property Fund that purchases property and leases on standardized but flexible terms to existing providers to accommodate the numbers of people moving out of inpatient facilities

Funding should also be allocated to strengthen sector infrastructure including, for example, a new Positive Behaviour Support Academy dedicated to training new community support staff, building capacity and sharing best practice.

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Daniel Brewer, Managing Director of Resonance says: “It is unacceptable that two thirds of the over 3,000 people with Learning Disability have been living in health institutions for more than a year. These people have become invisible to the system that was set up to support them.  With such good examples of successfully transferring individuals into better quality supported living, costing thousands of pounds a week less for even those with the most challenging support needs, there is no excuse for not doing it for everyone.  But there is no doubt that to do this without the recommended injection of capital, will take a very long time – social investment can accelerate this.

“A government investment of £30m now can unlock many multiples of this amount in social investment and will in the long run save the state over £100m every year.  The economics work for a solution, which can reach 2,000 forgotten vulnerable people.

Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive of Big Society Capital said: “This report clearly sets out the potential for social investment to help transform the lives of people with learning disabilities stuck in inappropriate institutional settings.  With appropriate changes to commissioning, this potential could be put into action.”

Jonathan Jenkins, Chief Executive of Social Investment Business said: “This has been a very useful piece of work that goes to highlight what a key role social investment could have in re-housing the most vulnerable people.  The potential that social investment has to change the lives of thousands of marginalised people with learning difficulties should not be ignored.”