This week sees the third 7 Days of Action campaign to get people with autism and learning difficulties out of in-patient settings and back into their communities. It coincides with the publication of a new report into the inpatient healthcare economy for people with learning disabilities and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder and investment from NHS England.
Between 2,500 and 3,000 people with autism and learning difficulties are currently detained in some form of in-patient setting and over 30,000 are at risk of being placed in one. 7 Days of Action is a family-led campaign to get people with autism and learning difficulties out of in-patient settings and back into their communities; to keep them in their communities once they are home, and to stop them from having to leave their communities in the first place.
7 Days of Action has a different but related theme each day with consideration to what it's like to live in an assessment and treatment unit, what families must experience and the role of the independent sector in delivering inpatient services. A Trade in People: The inpatient healthcare economy for people with learning disabilities and/or autism has also been published by Lancaster University's Centre for Disability Research and led by Mark Brown of the 7 Days of Action campaign.
To help move forward the Building the Right Support agenda, NHS England has announced that patients with a learning disability, autism or both are set to benefit from over £10m investment by NHS England to help them lead more independent lives, closer to their friends and family.
The funding will support fourteen local Transforming Care Partnerships – made up of NHS organisations, local authorities and NHS England commissioners, working closely with people who use services, their families and providers – to develop new, high-quality, community services for people in their area.
The funding announcement is the latest tranche of up to £40m being invested by the cross-system Transforming Care programme over 2015/16 – 2018/19. The programme has seen a number of reforms, including the roll out of Care and Treatment Reviews – meaning that, on average, more than 240 people with a learning disability have their needs and progress reviewed every month, leading to many being discharged to more appropriate community-based settings.
It comes on top of £20m of transformation funding which has already been allocated over the last two years, meaning local areas have already been developing their schemes.
In England, around 24,000 people who have a learning disability and/or autism are classed as being at risk of admission. 2,520 people were in inpatient settings as of 28th February 2017 according to the latest official figures, down from 2,850 in March 2015.
48 Transforming Care Partnerships are tasked with improving services in a way that reflects the wishes and circumstances of local residents. NHS England is also making available up to £20m of capital funding per year to support Transforming Care project.
This month, CMM has an article on Making Transforming Care work: Experiences of moving people out of assessment and treatment units to help providers support people with learning disabilities and autism back into the community.