Concerns about safety and effectiveness of learning disability inpatient services reveals CQC

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has released its report on the "State of Mental Health Services 2014 to 2017" revealing concerning practices across learning disability and/or autism inpatient services. A significant proportion of services were labelled as requiring improvement across safety and effectiveness and there were revelations of high use of restrictive practices and long-stays.

Vivien Cooper, CEO of the Challenging Behaviour Foundation said in response:

"It is essential that there is proper scrutiny of services for children, young people and adults with learning disabilities to ensure they receive appropriate, safe and high quality care and support. This CQC report, which analyses information from inspection reports of mental health services, highlights that in services for people with a learning disability or autism:

  • Over one third of inpatient services for people with a learning disability or autism were rated as requiring improvement for safety
  • Just under one third of inpatient services were rated as requires improvement for effectiveness
  • In some inpatient services there is high use of restrictive interventions (including physical restraint and seclusion)
  • CQC “frequently encountered patients who had been in hospital for a long time”  
  • In “too many” services staff were not following or applying the Mental Capacity Act appropriately

The Transforming Care programme, initiated as a result of the Winterbourne View Hospital abuse in 2011, is an opportunity to address these issues. This is yet another report that confirms that over 6 years on there are too many children and adults with learning disabilities who are in services where they are not receiving safe, high quality care and support, and this must change."


Download the State of Mental Health Services report here 

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