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Autism: Psychiatric Hospitals

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 5th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Touhig Lord Touhig Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the National Autistic Society Beyond Transforming Care: What needs to change?, published in December 2018, what steps they are taking to reduce the 24 per cent increase in autistic people without an accompanying learning disability placed in mental health hospitals.

Photo of Lord Touhig Lord Touhig Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to help release autistic people identified as not needing inpatient care from mental health hospitals.

Photo of Lord Touhig Lord Touhig Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to lower the number of autistic people in mental health hospitals who have been in inpatient care for five years or more; and if so, how.

Photo of Lord Touhig Lord Touhig Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to advise and support families attempting to secure the discharge of autistic relatives from mental health hospitals.

Photo of Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

In Building the right support we have a plan to build capacity and services in the community in order to reduce reliance on inpatient care for people with a learning disability, and for autistic people and so that they can be appropriately supported to live in the community. A copy of Building the right support is attached.

Supporting people on the autism spectrum or with learning disabilities is one of the four clinical priority areas in the NHS Long Term Plan published on 7 January 2019. This commits to implementing the Building the right support plan in full, achieving at least a 50% reduction in the number of people with a learning disability or autism who are inpatients, compared to the figure in 2015, by the end of 2023/24. The National Health Service national planning guidance requires a 35% reduction in inpatients as quickly as possible and no later than the end of 2019/20. The Long Term Plan also commits to ensuring that every local economy has specialist community provision. Every local health system will be expected to use some of its growing community health services investment to have a seven-day specialist multidisciplinary service and crisis care to prevent people with learning disability and autistic people, from needing hospital inpatient care.

One of the principles of the service model of Building the right support is that people with a learning disability and autistic people should be supported to live in the community with support from and for their families or carers as well as paid support and care staff – with training made available for families or carers, support and respite for families/carers.

Care and Treatment Reviews (CTRS): Policy and Guidance sets how the family should be involved through the process of review to ensure that the care and treatment and differing support needs of the person and their families are met. A copy of Care and Treatment Reviews (CTRS): Policy and Guidance is attached.

On 5 December 2018, the Department for Health and Social Care announced that we will be launching a comprehensive review of Think Autism, the national autism strategy. We want an autism strategy that works for all autistic people, and that is why, working very closely with the Department for Education, we will be extending the strategy to include children.

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