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National Audit Office publishes "Local support for people with a learning disability"

Today, the National Audit Office has published a shocking report revealing how little has actually been achieved since the beginning of the Transforming Care scheme. The report entitled "Local support for people with a learning disability" documents major failures in the provision of community support which would enable more people with a learning disability to come out of inappropriate inpatient units back into the community. In light of the sobering broadcast of Channel 4's Dispatches "Under Lock and Key", these revelations illustrate NHS England's continued willingness to send young people with a learning disability to places like St Andrews where they are at high risk of seclusion, sedation and physcial restraint.  

Viv Cooper, chief executive at the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, and Jan Tregelles, chief executive at Mencap said:

“Those who saw the horrors outlined in this week’s Channel 4 Dispatches programme would hope NHS England are firmly in control of ending the institutionalised care that subjects people with a learning disability to a risk of abuse and neglect in inpatient units. However, the National Audit Office report shatters any hope of this.

“Far from NHS England’s Closure programme of inpatient units being at the stage of roll out they are still grappling with how to resolve the barriers that have been well known for years.  Plans to develop a workforce to support people who come out of inpatient units have not been developed whilst the mechanisms to move money out of hospitals and into the community are still failing,

“NHS England must stop funding placements in institutional settings, sort out the funding to develop community support and services and strengthen the law to end this scandal of care that allows people to be trapped in inpatient units with no guarantee of when or if they will return home. Families reading this report will fear there is no light at the end of the tunnel, but as the Dispatches investigation has shown it is perfectly possible to support people with complex needs to have a good life in the community.”

 

Read the report for yourself by clicking here

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