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Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:31 am on 13th February 2020.

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Photo of Helen Hayes Helen Hayes Opposition Whip (Commons) 11:31 am, 13th February 2020

Yesterday, the Equality and Human Rights Commission announced that it is progressing legal action against the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care over the failure to move people with learning disabilities and autism into appropriate accommodation. The action is unprecedented, but the issues that have led to it have been known and documented at least since the Winterbourne View scandal eight years ago. Those issues have been raised in the Chamber on countless occasions in relation to individual cases, such as that of Bethany and of my constituent Matthew Garnett, yet the Government have failed to act. That failure affects more than 2,000 families throughout the country whose loved ones are still trapped in inappropriate accommodation, and countless more who have battled over months and years to get them out. Their stories are heartbreaking and their experiences unjustifiable and unacceptable.

May we have an urgent debate, as soon as possible after the recess, on the accommodation for people with learning disabilities and autistic people, and can it be held in Government time, so that the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care can acknowledge the gravity of the situation, apologise to the families affected and set out the urgent action he will now take to right this wrong?