The majority of people with learning disabilities living in hospital-type placements now have a date set for a move back into a community housing, latest NHS figures have revealed.
Quarterly data from NHS England found that, as of September 30, of the 2,600 people resident in hospital, 1,680 now have a transfer date – more than treble the number in the previous quarter (577).
These figures provide a boost to the government’s programme to end inappropriate hospital placements for people with learning disabilities. The government came in for criticism after the target to end such placements was widely missed in June.
However, the data also revealed that more people with learning disabilities are still being admitted to such facilities than are leaving; 404 were admitted to hospital in the 3 months to September 30, while only 323 were discharged.
Of the 1,680 with transfer dates, 922 are moving to a community setting – with support during the transition – within a year.
Meanwhile, of the 920 that don’t have a transfer date set, 691 are currently considered not appropriate for transfer to community settings for clinical reasons.
In addition, more people have a care co-ordinator – 2,562, up from 2,505 – so that care is being proactively managed and tailored to meet individuals’ needs, according to NHS England.
This is the fourth set of quarterly data prompted by the Winterbourne View Concordat, aimed at ensuring better care for people with learning disabilities, autism and behaviour that can be challenging. There was a 100% response rate from the 211 clinical commissioning groups and 10 NHS England Area Teams who are responsible for the specialised commissioning of secure mental health and child and adolescent mental health services, who were asked to submit information.