More than two thousand autistic people and people with a learning disability are currently in in-patient mental health hospitals in England and the average length of stay is around five and a half years. Charities have long campaigned against in-patient care as it is widely recognised that for most autistic people, care in an in-patient unit is rarely helpful. In addition, most are locked up due to the lack of the right community support, skilled social care, and suitable housing – not because of a mental health problem. In 2015, NHS England published a three-year closure programme and national plan
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