THE Chief Nursing Officer for NHS England and Wales, Jane Cummings, said she was more determined than ever that the hospitalisation of the mentally ill and vulnerable people should end after meeting Sarah Bridges and Dorothy Jarvis-Lee CEO of ubu alongside other vulnerable adults who had benefited from ubu’s specialised community care.
Jane Cummings was speaking after she met Dorothy and some of the people ubu serve in Knaresborough and heard how their lives had been turned round by the Yorkshire based specialist health and social care provider.
She said that she always knew there was good practice but having experienced what ubu does she is more determined that everyone should be able to gain the same benefits such support can make to improve their lives.
She said: “Speaking to the people that ubu support, there were some very powerful testimonies of the unhappiness they had experienced prior to receiving care and support from ubu.
“I always knew that it was possible for people to live independently with minimal support in the community and it has been uplifting hearing how good that has been for the people I have met today.
“It has become very clear speaking to these people that hospitals are not homes and that vulnerable people should have the right to choose where they live,” she added.
“It was impressive to speak both to the staff and the people who live at this ubu service to hear what is really possible.”
Mrs Cummings spent more than two hours speaking to people, many of whom have had first hand experience of long term hospitalisation. She also spent time hearing from Dorothy and ubu colleagues about their frustrations at the slow pace of change in attitudes and closing outdated institutions and enabling these vulnerable people to live in the community.
“Today has reinforced my belief that we should be enabling everyone to live independently in the community, to live the lives they want and indeed ubu has an alternative solution to achieve this” she said.
Dorothy said: “We have now evidenced to Jane and many others why long stay hospital admissions are neither necessary nor effective for anyone. They are merely inhuman prisons that act as a means of control by the public powers that actually make people worse. We are so pleased that Jane was determined to come and see for herself what we do and trust this has supported her to make change happen NOW for vulnerable people within the NHS.”