Entitled ‘Lessons from the Winterbourne reviews: Improving care and support for people whose support needs are challenging’, the conference was designed for anyone working with people with learning disabilities. Findings from the Winterbourne View Hospital reviews were discussed in light of the shocking abuse of vulnerable people revealed by the BBC’s Panorama programme last year.

The conference, which took place on 16th October at the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury, London, helped delegates explore what providers, commissioners and regulators must do to deliver a better life for people with learning disabilities and their families.

Commenting on the conference, John Wearing, partner at Anthony Collins Solicitors said: “The Winterbourne View Hospital case exposed a huge shortfall in the way vulnerable adults are cared for and has prompted the sector to really examine the governance arrangements and whistleblowing policies they have in place to prevent such abuse. Anthony Collins Solicitors works closely with organisations like VODG and LDC to make sure that lessons can be learned from cases such as this to improve the standard practice of organisations working with vulnerable people.

"We also have a great deal of expertise working with care providers and other organisations to empower trustees and senior management to challenge ways of working, and on developing relationships with commissioners and service users to provide innovative and exceptional levels of care. We are pleased and proud to support VODG and LDC on this valuable initiative as part of our ongoing commitment to delivering safe support and offering choice and control to disabled people."

During the conference, sector leaders also discussed best practice, new policies and updated guidelines with keynote speakers including Bruce Calderwood, director of mental heath, disability and equality at the Department of Health, Mark Goldring CBE, chief executive of Mencap and advisor to the DoH on Winterbourne and Ian Biggs, deputy director of operations (South) from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).