Points of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:43 pm on 5 November 2019.

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Photo of Barbara Keeley Barbara Keeley Shadow Minister (Mental Health and Social Care) 1:43, 5 November 2019

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. Ministers have been in the media today talking about the issue of the 2,250 autistic people and people with learning disabilities detained in mental health in-patient units. In the press and on broadcast media, Ministers have talked about demanding reviews of all those people who were detained, but in today’s written statement on the training of staff working with autistic people and people with learning disabilities there is no mention of what Ministers talked about in the media. We have therefore not had the chance to question Ministers on it, nor have we had a chance to talk about the report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

Last week, the Committee described the horrific reality of hospital in-patient units, with its report stating that

“we are inflicting terrible suffering on those detained in mental health hospitals and causing anguish to their distraught families.”

I have raised the case of Bethany, an 18-year-old autistic woman who was locked in a cell in a secure unit in Wales many miles from her home. This morning, her father said the following in response to the Care Minister, talking about those reviews of the 2,250 people like Bethany—