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

More than 2,500 people with learning disabilities receiving inpatient care, figures reveal

hscicMore than 2,500 people with a learning disability and/or autism were receiving inpatient care in England at the end of February – and nearly a third of those had been resident for 5 years or more, according to new statistics.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre’s (HSCIC) report ‘Home or Hospital?’ reported that there were 2,650 patients receiving inpatient care at the end of February 2016 compared to 2,820 at the beginning of March 2015. Of those, 895 people – including 10 aged under 18 – had been receiving continuous inpatient care for more than 5 years.

During the year, there were 1,800 admissions/transfers to inpatient care and 1,970 discharges/transfers from inpatient care. Of these, 280 admissions/transfers were of people aged under 18.

The HSCIC’s statistics were taken from the Assuring Transformation collection and considered data from the Learning Disability Census, Hospital Episodes Statistics, Quality Outcomes Framework, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Data Set and Mental Health Services Data Set.

These statistics show that inpatient care numbers are remaining roughly consistent, despite the Transforming Care agenda, which aims to drive system-wide change to enable more people to live in the community, with the right support, and close to home.

Last week, a coalition of learning disability service providers, backed by former Care Services Minister Norman Lamb MP, warned the government that the Transforming Care agenda risks failing unless more funding is made available to transition people into the community safely and effectively.

The figures also come just days after the fifth anniversary of the abuse at the former Winterbourne View hospital being exposed on the BBC documentary show Panorama. On the anniversary some of the families of those abused there published an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, calling for “[an] end this outdated model of hospital care.”

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