Yesterday’s harrowing Panorama programme comes after days of news around abusive practice and attitudes to people with learning disabilities and/or autism.

People with learning disabilities and autism have been unnecessarily detained in institutions and denied access to the quality of care they deserve for far too long. Any plan for national reform and investment seems to have stalled, despite promises dating back to 2012.

We urgently need a properly integrated and funded social care system, based on respecting people’s rights to live within society, rather than at the fringes.

Social care has the potential to change lives and good community support has been proven to reduce the risk of admission into NHS funded placements. These are often young people, like Reece, who is now doing the things he enjoys following a long time away from his chosen community. Watch the film of Reece's story.

SeeAbility has published a policy position statement, shaped by people we support, with ten recommendations for reforms. We talk about the dire need for a green paper on social care and the urgent need to transfer funding for support in the community; no surprises there.

But the major shift needed is for people with learning disabilities, autism and their families to be given the power and influence for systems to be accountable. Will the coming days and weeks see the real experts being given a genuine opportunity to influence? We wait to see.

Lisa Hopkins
SeeAbility CEO