Early findings indicate one in eight deaths of people with learning disabilities currently under review are down to delays or abuse.

1,311 cases were passed to NHS England for review between July 2016 and November 2017, with only 103 (8 percent) finished so far.

Of these, the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review found failings had taken place in one in eight deaths, ranging from abuse to delays in treatment.

Connor Sparrowhawk, who had learning disabilities and epilepsy, died when he had a seizure alone in a bath at an NHS care unit in 2013.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust admitted breaching health and safety law and was fined £1m.

"I don't actually want to live in a society in which this just goes on and the government does nothing about it," Dr Sara Ryan, Connor's mother, said today.

"Certain people simply don't count - you can't dress it up as anything else," she said.

Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society, said: “This is a distressing yet important review. But it’s another missed opportunity to also look at the many and often shared – barriers autistic people face accessing vital health and care services.

“Emerging evidence from Sweden suggests that many autistic people have poorer physical and mental health than the general population, leading to too many autistic people dying early."

"We have no reason to believe the situation would be that different in this country. This is unacceptable and we’ve long been calling for a review to look into the deaths of people from across the autism spectrum." 

“Around 1 in 100 people are thought to be autistic. They, and their families, need reassurance from Government and the NHS that this is going to be taken seriously and action will be taken.”

Image: Connor Sparrowhawk