Mental Health

05.11.19

2,250 inpatients with learning disabilities or autism to be given case reviews

Over the next 12 months every patient with autism or a learning disability in a mental health hospital will have their case reviewed, announced today (Nov 5th) by Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock.

The government will commit, as part of the review, to providing each patient with a date for discharge or if suitable a clear explanation of why and a plan to move them closer towards being ready for discharge into the community.

This announcement builds on recent statistics which show that there has already been a 22% decrease of inpatient numbers since March 2015. The government is also committing today to a further reduction of up to 400 inpatients to discharged by the end of March 2020.

For the patients that are in long-term segregation, an independent panel, chaired by Baroness Shelia Hollins, will be established to oversee their case reviews to further improve their care and support them to be discharged back to the community as quickly as possible.

The panel will include independent experts who will monitor, challenge and advise on the progress of case reviews of those in the most restrictive settings, with the aim of supporting more people to be discharged. The panel will expect a clear plan towards a discharge date or an explanation for how providers are making progress towards discharging the individual.

The government has also confirmed today that every NHS and social care worked will receive mandatory training relevant to their role. The new training is backed by £1.4 million of government funding and will focus on understanding learning disability and autism, legislation and rights and making reasonable adjustments such as using different communications methods for autistic people with sensory sensitives.

Matt Hancock, Health and Social Care Secretary said: “For those living with learning disabilities and autistic people, the current system can leave them in isolation for long periods of time, with no prospect of release into the community.

“I am determined to put this right and today we are committing to reviewing the care of every patient with learning disability and autism over the next 12 months – alongside a clear plan to get them discharged back into their homes and communities. I have also asked for advice on separating out the law regarding those with learning disabilities and autism from the law regarding mental health.”

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