Tea, smiles and empty promises – how families who have suffered because of Winterbourne View are raising awareness of the need for change (UK)

From Mary Spence at Challenging Behaviour Foundation:

To mark the ongoing failures and the anniversary of the Winterbourne View scandal, some families  whose relatives were at Winterbourne View have come together to share their experiences in “Tea, smiles, and empty promises”, which will be available to  download from www.mencap.org.uk/transformingcare and www.challengingbehaviour.org.uk/news/winterbourne-view-10-years-on from the 27 May 2021.

Their stories show the devastating impact that inpatient units can have on individuals placed there, and the ongoing trauma people can experience both during and after their detention. It focuses on the need for people to get the right support in the community and avoid going into inpatient units in the first place. And where people have gone into these places, they must be supported to return to their home areas as soon as possible with the right support in the community, including trauma support where needed.

We know that the issues in this report will be difficult for many people to read, and may raise concerns about their own situations – please see the signposting at the end of this document for where people can go for information and support.

We are asking as many people, groups, and organisations as possible to:

  • Mark the 10th anniversary of the Winterbourne View scandal
  • Raise awareness of the unacceptably slow progress of the Transforming Care programme as well as the need for the urgent publication of the long-overdue cross-government strategy to deliver the change promised.

You can find out more about Transforming Care at


and www.challengingbehaviour.org.uk/news/winterbourne-view-10-years-on

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