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Supported living | the answer to the CQC’s “Out of sight – Who cares?”

Supported living works for people with learning difficulties and autism

Supported Housing also works for local authority commissioners.

The Care Quality Commission in its report ‘Out of sight – who cares? made it clear. A radical review of the appalling state of restraint, seclusion and segregation for autistic people, and people with a learning disability and/or mental health condition.’ It found ‘too many examples of undignified and inhumane care, in hospital and care settings where people were seen not as individuals but as a condition or a collection of negative behaviours.’


Unfortunately this is not the first report to highlight these problems. More recently in 2012 the BBC programme Panorama revealed abuse of patients in the residential care home Winterbourne View. This scandal led to an NHS England report ‘Winterbourne View – Time for Change’ in 2014, which recommended moving people from ‘inappropriate’ institutional care. Nowhere near enough was done and another scandal of abuse broke in 2019 at Whorlton Hall. As recently as September 2020 yet another scandal showed patients being abused on CCTV footage at Cygnet Health Care hospital.

supported living

Homes not hospitals

As providers of best practice supported living housing, Zetetick agrees with Edel Harris of Mencap that ‘people deserve to live in homes, not hospitals.’ But are too many authorities seeing all of this from the issue of out of sight out of mind oronly from the point of view of commissioning care rather than housing and care.


The failure to meet targets to get people with autism and learning disabilities out of long-term inpatient care – ‘warehousing’ – was the subject of a legal challenge to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care by EHRC (Equality and Human Rights Commission) in February 2020. In March 2020 the NDTi report ‘Close to Home’ found an increase in the number of people held long term in out of area placements was due not to lack of mental health beds as had been suggested, but because of the lack of services in the community – social care, housing and support.

Supported living and Supported housing is better value

The CQC has reported that a shortage of suitable care in the community was preventing the discharge of 60% of people, even though ‘local help centred on the individual is likely to cost less than the huge sums paid for inpatient care’ – a conclusion also reported by other organisations in their reports.

The question was also raised about a conflict of interest where independent providers detaining people long term would suffer financially by discharging them.

Supported living is not only better for people and linked to positive outcomes, but it is best value for money too for commissioners. However most local authority commissioners are concentrating on the care and care organisations are struggling to find housing or they provide care and housing together which is not good practice as it restricts a tenants choice. Look at the state of dynamic provider lists or frameworks in the main they are all focussed on care companies and forget the importance of housing and housing provision.

Zetetick Housing Charity

Why Zetetick?

Zetetick sources property on the private rental market so can respond in a fast and flexible way. Zetetick can find a home, suitable for supported living, that suits the needs and preferences of tenants – making a successful long term arrangement more likely. Our expertise is in best practice supported living exempt accommodation where Zetetick provides the housing and a separate organisation provides the care/support, and we have established relationships with trusted and vetted care providers.

We have seen tenants’ lives turned around by having a home of their own in supported housing with the appropriate support that enables them to live fulfilling lives doing everyday things that most of us take for granted.


Looking for supported living housing for someone with autism or learning disabilities?

If you are a commissioner, social worker, health professional or care provider who needs find someone a home in South London or the South East, or would like to chat to us about supported living or supported housing and what we do, get in touch. Let’s get people with autism and learning difficulties the supported living they need and the supported housing that will allow them to live with some independence: Contact Us




  • Avatar of Steph Cohen

    Steph has worked for Zetetick Housing for 5 years. She is highly valued in the finance and engagement depts. Both her Masters degree and her interest and activity with music enhance her creative writing skills.

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