05 November 2019

BLOG: Talking about abuse in care

On the 13th of September, myself, (Christopher Porter) and Sam Suttar who are self-advocate members of the North Yorkshire Learning Disability Partnership Board went to Nottingham University with Jamie Bannister, Katie Peacock and Erin Outram.


When we arrived at the University, the meeting room wasn’t accessible for a wheelchair so we had to change rooms.

We were invited to this meeting by the Ann Craft Trust and David from Hull University welcomed everyone. He explained this meeting was the start of partnership working to talk about abuse in care. We were reminded of the terrible abuse which happened at Winterbourne View in Somerset and Whorlton Hall in County Durham. This was where lots of people with learning disabilities and autism were abused by their support staff.

Peter Oaks also from Hull University started off the conversation about abuse in care and we were given three questions in our groups.  The first question we were asked to talk about was - What have we learnt about communities in care settings and services?  We said there needed to be better joined up thinking and working between local Councils, Safeguarding Boards and health and social care so we can start to change peoples’ attitudes and share information quickly when things go wrong.

The next question we discussed was about making a positive change in care settings to help everyone have better relationships.  We said there needs to be more training for social care staff by self-advocates about relationships where people can share their stories.

After lunch, Deborah Kitson from the Ann Craft Trust asked us a final question which was about which groups might help to move these conversations on.  We thought it was important to involve more self-advocates, support staff and managers and politicians.


We all thought this was a great first meeting with lots of positive discussions and we hope more people will be involved in the future.


By Christopher Porter and Sam Suttar


For more information about self-advocacy in North Yorkshire you can follow the group on twitter and instagram. You can also contact Karen Murray at karen.murray@keyring.org or on 07833 309 693.