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Mental Disorder: Autism and Learning Disabilities - Private Notice Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:20 pm on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Thornton Baroness Thornton Shadow Spokesperson (Health) 3:20 pm, 5th November 2019

My Lords, as my noble friend has rightly highlighted, neither autism nor learning difficulties are mental health conditions. These children should not be in wards which are likely to be noisy, bright and unpredictable. Noble Lords may have seen the report on Sky News about Jeremy, whose autistic daughter Bethany is being held in a mental health unit. He has been campaigning about her inhuman treatment for a long time—too long. He says of the proposed review: “There are 600 people whose care plan says that they should not be in hospital, and for half of them, their local authorities do not even know that”. Those are the Government’s own figures. We have had one review after another since Winterbourne View, nine years ago. I agree with Jeremy— we need action not reviews.

Worse, Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State, is apparently sitting on a report about Jeremy’s daughter and said that it will be released before Parliament rises. Can the noble Baroness ensure that Bethany’s report is released to her parents this afternoon and tell the House when we will see action, rather than reviews, for this vulnerable group of young people?