Due to COVID-19 we are not able to send out any resources at this time. If you are a family carer in need of support then please contact our helpline.

All our information sheets are available to download. If you need specific help relating to the COVID-19 pandemic please see our information here: Guidance for Families.


Transforming Care Data


Each month data is published on children, young people and adults with learning disabilities and/or autism in inpatient units on the NHS Digital website. This data is published as part of the Mental Health Services Data Set and the Assuring Transformation data set.


The NHS Long Term plan has extended the Transforming Care target of 35%- 50% reduction in inpatients with learning disabilities and/ or autism to 2023/24. The NHS Long Term plan commits to a 35% reduction by March 2020.  We will continue to monitor the data, and track progress towards these targets.


Latest figures  

  • At least 2,170 people with a learning disability / autism remain in inpatient units, of which 1,935 are adults and 235 children


  • Little change in the number of admissions - with 95 admissions in February


  • Discharge delays continue – 135 people with a learning disability / autism who should be back home in their community


  •  An increased number of reported uses of restrictive interventions – 3,535 in one month, of which 755 were against children. This is likely to be just the “tip of the iceberg” as only data for 4 out of 15 private/independent providers and 27 out of 56 NHS providers is reported.


  •  The average total length of stay in in-patient units is 5.5 years.


According to data released today from NHS Digital, 2,170 people with a learning disability and/or autism remain in inpatient units in February, a decrease of  15 on  the previous month. At least 1,930 adults and 235 children continue to be locked away.


This data follows publication of the Government’s Emergency Coronavirus Bill which makes provision for changes to the 2014 Care Act and application of the Mental Health Act. This proposes relieving local authorities of their full duties so that they can prioritise the cases they deem most urgent by delaying assessments or not meeting assessed needs in full, and relaxing rules to enable one doctor rather than two to detain people under the Mental Health Act.


Charities, advocacy groups, families and MPs have expressed concerns that, while emergency legislation is needed to address the Covid-19 pandemic, if used, the changes to the Care Act and Mental Health Act risk leaving vulnerable people unable to access the social care they need and at increased risk of being admitted to inpatient units.


Today’s NHS Digital data shows little change in the number of admissions with 95 people admitted in February alone. At least 135 people remain in hospital when they are ready for discharge, with the main reasons being a lack of social care and housing provision in the community. 


The urgency remains for government to publish a robust cross-government strategy to ensure that health, social care, education and housing work together to stop inappropriate admissions and get people out of inpatient units. The current Government and NHS England target is to reduce the number of people with a learning disability and/or autism locked away in inpatients units by at least 35% by the end March 2020 – a target which latest figures indicate they are likely to miss.



(Updated March 2020)




The CBF and Mencap have been producing an infographic summarising the key figures from data released each month since March 2019. The latest infographic is available below:





August 2019








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