According to a report published on the 3rd of March by the National Audit Office (NAO), 2,510 people with a learning disability are still being cared for in mental health hospitals, many of them for several years.
The Government’s target of halving the number of mental health hospital beds for people with a learning disability by 2019 is unlikely to be met, according to the NAO. This is due partly to a funding shortfall for community care.
The report predicts that between £135 million and £195 million will be needed per year to pay for health and social care support for people with learning disabilities who have been discharged from mental health hospitals.
Lib Dem MP Tom Brake said:
“This is a scandal. A psychiatric hospital is not an appropriate place for people with learning disabilities, except in very rare circumstances.
“This report highlights the need for local personalised care to enable individuals to be full members of their community with a social life, accommodation and employment opportunities.”
“The Government need to guarantee more funding for community services. Failing to move people with learning disabilities out of mental health hospitals, and into the community, is denying them the rights and freedoms they are entitled to.