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Winterbourne View was a hospital in South Gloucestershire for people with learning disabilities and autism who sometimes presented with behaviour that challenged.

Winterbourne View was meant to help by assessing and treating patients so that they could then have ordinary lives in their own homes. Winterbourne View Hospital was owned by a company called Castlebeck.

The NHS paid Castlebeck a to look after people there. It had 24 beds. In 2011, a TV programme showed some staff at Winterbourne View Hospital mistreating and abusing patients. Winterbourne View Hospital has now closed.

Transforming Care

Following the mistreatment that took place in Winterbourne View, the Government decided that what had happened to patients in Winterbourne View must never happen to anyone again. The Transforming Care programme aims to improve the lives of children, young people and adults with a learning disability and/or autism who display behaviours that challenge, including those with a mental health condition.

The programme has three key aims:

• To improve quality of care for people with a learning disability and/or autism

• To improve quality of life for people with a learning disability and/or autism

• To enhance community capacity, thereby reducing inappropriate hospital admissions and length of stay.

Through the Transforming Care Network Autism in Mind has been commissioned four times.

We were jointly commissioned with Inclusion North, Sunderland People First and Spectrum Enterprises to deliver 'All About Me'. 'All About Me' was a pilot programme that was designed by Autism in Mind to empower young people on the autistic spectrum, to develop their self awareness and understanding of their own autism and their self advocacy skills. The programme was delivered in Sunderland, South Tyneside and Gateshead.

We were commissioned  through the 'Re-Thinking Advocacy' project to find out what advocacy services were available to individuals with autism throughout the North East, how accessible they were to them, and whether or not the service had met their needs once it was accessed. We also want to find out what individuals with autism think that advocacy for them should look like.

Within the Transforming Care Programme, Autism in Mind (AIM) and Inclusion North (IN) were commissioned to carry out a small piece of work to pilot ways of giving children and young people a meaningful platform to express their views and to find a way to make sure that they were listened to.

We were co-commissioned with Sunderland People First and Spectrum Enterprises to to be advisors to the 9 Transforming Care Local Implementation Groups to support the Local Implementation Group and ensure that autistic people are being properly thought about as part of the Transforming Care community model. Autism in Mind attended the Sunderland, Darlington, South Tyneside and Durham LIGs where we delivered a presentation about the importance of including autistic people in the work they are undertaking. All 9 LIGs were left a detailed map of groups and organisations in their area who were ran by or work with autistic people, to enable the LIGs to contact and include autistic people in their work.