July 17, 2019

New Report: Inpatient Admissions and attempts to Transform Care in England

Photo by P Yusef Rightful Lives Exhibition

Brown, M., James, E. and Hatton, C. (2019) Is Care Transformed? A Review of Transforming Care in England Lancaster: Centre for Disability Research.

This report is available in pdf and word (docx) format.

The UK government policy of Building the Right Support in England was launched in 2015 as part of Transforming Care. Transforming Care is the policy agenda set up to get people out of inpatient hospitals after the scandal at Winterbourne View.

This report looks at Transforming Care and Building the Right Support and gives an overview of what we think has worked and what hasn’t worked.

It takes information from Transforming Care Implementation Plans, Freedom of Information requests, Assuring Transformation data about the numbers of people in in-patient hospitals and information from evaluations commissioned by NHS England.

The government set a target to reduce by over a third the number of learning disabled people in hospitals, by March 2019.  This target has not been met.

In this report we argue that Transforming Care, has not met its goal of achieving profound and radical change which would reduce by over a third the number of learning disabled and autistic people who are inappropriately in secure mental health hospitals due to a failure to position learning disabled and autistic people and their families as leaders of the national programme.

We point out that Transforming Care and Building the Right Support are not mentioned in the NHS Long Term Plan 2019 and that the new commitment to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions for learning disabled and autistic people is disappointingly low in ambition.

We hope that this report will add to the growing body of evidence calling for policy makers to implement the 8 Point Plan* to Transform Care proposed by #RightfulLives:

  1. A review and plan for everyone in an Assessment and Treatment Unit (ATU) to get community support within 12 months.
  2. An independent body led by people with learning disabilities, autistic people, families and lawyers that has power to monitor and direct commissioners and can remove power from commissioners that are failing.
  3. Ring fencing money just for community services and the transition from Assessment and Treatment Units.
  4. Families being given rights to visit when their family member has been detained under Section of the Mental Health Act 1983 and being allowed to speak out publicly about it.
  5. Information about the numbers of people in ATUs, where they are, how much money is being spent and by which commissioners, is made publicly available.
  6. Funding of regional ‘hit squads’ with people who have expertise to help stop people being detained under the Mental Health Act.
  7. Support for the proposals of the Disabled People (Community Inclusion) Bill 2015, also known as “the #LBBill” so that laws and systems change to safeguard people’s right to have community alternatives to a hospital or care home admission considered first.
  8. STOMP (Stop over medicating people) to be part of all NHS and private health care practice.

*This plan is currently at draft stage and undergoing consultation. The final version will be published on their webpage