NHS England launch National Implementation Plan to Close In-patient services for People with a Learning Disability

NHS England launch National Implementation Plan to close inpatient services for people with a learning disability and/or Autism whose behaviours may challenge.

NHS England have  today announced their plan to close 50 % of in-patient beds by 2018 with £45M of funding available over the next three years.

The report can be read in full on the NHSE Site here


Jan Tregelles, chief executive of Mencap, and Vivien Cooper, chief executive of the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, said:


“This report comes over 4 ½ years after the abuse scandal at Winterbourne View was exposed by the BBC and shocked the nation. Despite numerous reports and missed targets, the same number of people with a learning disability remain in these units. In the meantime they have often been at increased risk of poor care and even abuse. 


“Whilst this report has strong ambitions which we welcome, significant questions remain unanswered. At this stage we were expecting a proper analysis of why there has been a lack of progress to date, alongside a well thought through, costed and robust implementation plan.  This report presents some good ambitions but it is unclear how they will translate to the right outcomes for people.


“We are concerned about whether sufficient resource and investment is being made available up front to develop the local support and services required. At the same time as this report makes a commitment to close beds, we know there are new units planning to open. It is essential that local partnerships are held to account for delivery and there is a focus on early intervention and prevention including getting it right for children. 

“Families will be fearful of the fact that there is little new in the report about how local areas can be compelled to make the necessary changes to support services and guard against a postcode lottery of poor care.  New money has been announced today but there is no indication as to whether this is sufficient to rapidly mobilise the new housing and care services needed, whilst also up skilling local area teams

“Today’s report is a start. Doubts remain as to whether it addresses the causes of failure to deliver change over the last 4 ½ years. NHS England and the Government must adequately fund local areas to deliver this change, as well as hold them to account, and intervene where change is not happening.  People with a learning disability, families and carers need to see change on the ground before they will believe progress is being made.”


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