Care worsens for those with learning disabilities in non-NHS facilities

Bureaucracy leads to delays, worsening behviour and people getting "stuck in the system".

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found that the quality of care has drastically worsened in independent mental health facilities for those with learning disabilities and/or autistic people.

The proportion of these services rated as inadequate quadrupled from 5% in 2019 to 22% in 2020, the CQC regulator has found. The proportion of inadequate NHS facilities remained the same, at 3%.

The severity and nature of learning difficulties and autism varies drastically – and most people don’t require in-patient, or often any, care.

But the CQC said that many people don’t get the care in the community they need, reach crisis point and hospital is the only option left.

However, they said hospitals are not therapeutic enviornments particularly for autistic people or those with learning disabilities.

The CQC’s state of care report says that complex internal market arrangements and bureauracy often lead to delays in getting a care package ready.

Without care, peoples’ wellbeing and behaviour deteriorates and they’re often moved to more secure and restrictive enivroments and become “stuck in the system”.

The CQC said that “a fundamental change is needed for people with a learning
disability and autistic people who need complex care”.

It says it will be publishing further recommendations on how to improve the system in October 2020.

Joe Lo is a co-editor of Left Foot Forward

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