Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Exclusive: Labour call for all NHS Assessment and Treatment Units to be shut down

Labour MP Kate Green says her party would look to close all the UK’s remaining NHS Assessment and Treatment Units if elected to government on June 8.

Choice Support estimate some 3,000 people with learning disabilities including autism continue to live in ATUs, a number that has hardly shifted in recent years.

Kate Green MP“The number should be zero,” the MP for Stretford and Urmston told Learning Disability Today.

“The quickest way to achieve it would be just to close them and then we’d be forced to find alternative and more suitable accommodation.”

“It’s the wrong setting. [The number] implies that learning disabled people can be detained in completely unsuitable settings when they should have the right to be living as independently as they can and want to be in their community.”

“That’s been the ambition for many decades and we’ve dismally failed that group of people.”

ATUs have been controversial for some time and particularly since abuse was exposed at Winterbourne View in South Gloucestershire by a BBC Panorama investigation in 2011.

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