A post by James O'Rourke

”Many of you may have noted that I tend not to post about personal things unless, of course, it's about my brilliant brother Tony. However, today I'm going to make an exception.

Since the beginning of September I have been honoured to be one of a band of independent reviewers for Care and Treatment/Care, Education and Treatment Reviews. Our brief, to make recommendations to keep people with learning disabilities and autism out of long term hospital or enable speedy discharge.

So far whilst there have been some difficult cases none have compared to the one I was involved with today.

Today, I experienced what Jeremy Bethsdad has to deal with everytime he visits his daughter. I had to try and hold a conversation with a young person through an 18 inch square window whilst his television, on a stand outside the room, played a Disney film. Due to complex and extreme needs the room is padded. I just about managed to hold back my tears.

I've experienced many things, both personally and professionally, in my 5 decades. However, I was not prepared for the emotions this review would evoke. So much so I felt compelled to call a dear friend to off load whilst driving home.

I so wanted to take this young person home.

Putting my political hat on its pointless having a Secretary of State for Health and Social Care if the social care element is ignored. The Government needs to pull its head out of the sand and publish the Social Care Green paper. It's also pointless having a 10 year plan for the NHS if social care is not included.

Pull your finger out Matt Hancock.”