On the 15th of August BBC Disclosure aired a documentary investigating why four young men with learning disabilities have been stuck in secure hospitals for years. The documentary shares the stories of the families of these individuals and looks at why so many individuals with learning disabilities and autism are inappropriately detained.
Scottish Ministers have pledged that:
‘By March 2024 we want and need to see real change with out-of-area residential placements and inappropriate hospital stays greatly reduced, to the point that out-of-area residential placements are only made through individual or family choices and people are only in hospital for as long as they require assessment and treatment.’ (Coming Home Implementation: report from the Working Group on Complex Care and Delayed Discharge – gov.scot (www.gov.scot))
However, the experiences in this documentary show that many individuals with learning disabilities and autism are still wrongly detained and subject to human rights breaches in inpatient hospitals such as Carstairs (a high secure forensic hospital).
Scandals such as this are a UK wide issue, and have been exposed across the UK for decades, including Winterbourne View hospital in England in 2011 (Winterbourne View – 11 year anniversary – Challenging Behaviour Foundation), Muckamore Abbey Hospital in Northern Ireland (Muckamore Abbey Hospital: My brother’s 34-year wait to leave – BBC News ) and a recent case at Rampton Secure Hospital in England (Adam, 30, has spent half his locked up with no conviction for the ‘crime’ of being autistic | Daily Mail Online). The UK governments must make real changes to prevent inappropriate admission and detention by investing in high quality community support for individuals and their families as well as immediate action to ensure individuals can be discharged back into the community with the support they need for a good quality of life.
The full documentary can be viewed here: BBC One – Disclosure, Series 5, Locked in the Hospital
And the BBC report can be read here: The patients locked in secure hospitals for decades – BBC News
Support from the CBF
Resources on our website
For more information on Transforming Care and Winterbourne View please read:
Family Support Service
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this statement, you can call the Family Support Service on 0300 666 0126
Or email us at email@example.com
We are open at the following times:
Monday – Thursday: 9am – 5pmFriday: 9am – 3pm
We offer information about challenging behaviour to anyone who provides support to a child, young person or adult with a severe learning disability. We can also signpost you to other specialist organisations and sources of information.
Please note we are a small support service so you may not be able to get support straight away. We will support families with urgent concerns as a priority.
Professionals are also welcome to contact the CBF.