News on the #LBBill second draft

It is now four long months since the 12 Days of the #LBBill Christmas; we know we’ve been silent in that time here (there has been some discussion on twitter and facebook), but we thought blog readers were long overdue an update. Perhaps the most significant development has been the publication of the government consultation Green Paper: No voice unheard, no right ignored. Norman Lamb paid tribute to the #JusticeforLB team when he launched it (that includes you if you’re reading this and supporting the LBBill) and you can see our response here. So, what has happened for the LBBill in 2015 so far?

1) Feedback

We have spent time pouring over the feedback that you’ve all provided so far. You can see most of the feedback here, and there has been some sent by email. This has been absolutely critical to the process, we are insistent that the LBBill will represent what you tell us you would like, as far as we can bring all of that together. This is a crowdsourced bill, so your input really does matter.

LBBill Feedback Meeting

2) Meeting with interested people

Last month we held a meeting in London (with some joining by phone remotely) to bring together a group of interested people who had given us feedback. This group was made up of representatives from Disabled People’s Organisations, User-Led Organisations, Charities, Providers, Parents and Carers. We included as many people as the room would fit and we tried to make the group as diverse as possible. The meeting included people who had organised events to gather feedback on the first draft of the Bill, and we discussed that feedback to inform a second draft.

3) Discussion on- and offline

One of the joys of being involved with the LBBill is the enthusiasm for it, on and offline. So far this year people have spoken about the Bill at a number of events, conferences, discussions and workshops. These occasions have ranged from a self-advocate conference in Blackpool with karaoke, to online discussions in the early hours of the morning, to an All Party Parliamentary Group meeting in the House of Commons; every opportunity to discuss the Bill is important, we need more people to consider what a good, messy life for disabled people looks like.

LBBill Blackpool Conference

4) Draft 2

Following these meetings and events, the discussion and feedback was considered further and a Draft 2 was written. This draft should be available to share at the end of this month (April). We were ambitious and had initially hoped we could turn it around by the end of March but we are determined not to share a draft unless it is fully accessible, so we are taking a little longer to get the easy-read version right. Keep your eyes peeled but we should share something later this month.

5) LBBill Film

We are truly delighted to share with you this film which has been produced since Christmas. Filmed, edited and produced voluntarily by the awesome Luke Tchalenko, using footage from the November meeting, we hope that you find it useful and we’d like to see it shared far and wide:

So, even though we have been quiet on the blog, we hope you agree we’ve been busy and that we are making progress. The next stage in the process is for us to share Draft 2 (by the end of this month) and then to gather more feedback from you all.

There are also a number of occasions coming up where you can join a discussion about the LBBill. These include the Inclusion North event on National Politics and the LBBill which is taking place in Leeds on 28 April (please email Marie if you wish to attend) and the NWTDT | Pathways Associates CIC Green Paper consultation event in Preston on 12 May (please email Danielle if you wish to attend).

A new parliament will be formed in early May and we will then look to see what we can arrange around lobbying MPs, in the meantime if parliamentary candidates come knocking at your door, be sure to ask them what their policy is on supporting disabled people, and please do tell them about the LBBill.

Meeting the Minister #LBBill

MeetingNorm

This week we went to London to meet the Right Honourable Norman Lamb. Norman works for the government as the Minister for Care and Support.

Norman is responsible for what happens in social care. He is very frustrated at the poor care of people with learning disabilities.

He is very disappointed that the people who promised to improve things in December 2012 have not made much progress.

The Minister told us about his plans for a Green Paper. A Green Paper is what government write to help people debate and discuss the legal and policy changes they are suggesting.

Green Papers do not have any promises to change things in them. It is just for discussion. It is called a Green Paper because it used to be printed on green paper.

There is a team writing the first draft of the Green Paper. They include Sarah and Frances who we met last month. Norman asked us if we would work with them and share our ideas from the LB Bill.

The Minister told us about some of the people with learning disabilities and their families that he had met. Lots of them told him that public bodies (people who work to help look after us) do not listen to them.

This is like what happened to LB, Southern Health did not listen to his family and because of that he died. The LB Bill (clauses 4 to 6) strengthens the family’s right to challenge decisions. The Minister said that the Green Paper would do this too. We think that this is great news and families should be listened to more.

The Minister also talked about the need to change the way that services are commissioned. He felt that changing the law was the only way that people buying services would change their behaviour. He has tried hard to get them to change for two years now and not much has improved. He is going to look at how money can move within the system because he thinks that causes problems at the moment.

It was great to meet the Minister, to hear his plans and to share ours. We look forward to working with the people writing the Green Paper to make sure the key points of the LB Bill, and your views and comments are taken on board. So please keep them coming. The draft LB Bill, is here.

Initial media response to #LBBill

This is just a short note to capture some of the coverage that #LBBill launch got in case people wish to watch/listen.

We visited the Department of Health to talk to two senior civil servants the day before we launched. You can read more here and watch our film recorded after the visit here:

On the day we launched the local media, BBC Oxford, provided a lot of coverage:

1) Phil Gayle’s breakfast show interviewed a number of people involved with the LBBill, including Rich (Connor’s step dad), Chris (from IHAL) Philippa (from Change) and Paul (from My Life My Choice). The show is available to listen to online here for the next few days.

2) The lead news story on the local BBC TV news was about the LBBill. It is no longer available to view, but it included a video of Sara, explaining what had happened to Connor and why the Bill might have helped, and Steve, talking about the Bill.

3) The evening drive time radio show was presented by Nick Piercey and included a 10min slot discussing the LBBill. This coverage included an interview with Norman Lamb, the Care Services Minister, and Sara. You can listen to it online here for the next few days. The Sara and Norman interview starts at 2hrs7mins, this is what it looked like behind the scenes:

BBCOxford041114

The Minister expressed his total frustration at the pace of change and promised to work with Connor’s family and members of the JusticeforLB campaign to explore how the principles of the LBBill could be embedded within law. The Minister was good to his word and a date has been set for that meeting in the next fortnight. We will keep you posted about how that meeting goes.

We have also been delighted to see the social media discussion about the draft Bill, the facebook group is on fire, the twitter #LBBill hashtag is red hot and we’ve started receiving feedback emails.

We will be shortly adding pages to this website where you can pledge your personal or organisational support for the LBBill. In the meantime if you wish to share news of the campaign with someone who doesn’t use social media then you can send them our email newsletter available here and encourage them to sign up for future updates.

Thank you all for your continued support and contributions to introducing the LBBill and improving lives for many disabled people.