Today, 10 November 2015, the Department of Health published “Government response to No voice unheard, no right ignored – a consultation for people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health conditions”.

Mencap and The Challenging Behaviour Foundation comment that it does not go far enough to create the right legislative framework to drive the change that is so desperately needed.

Today, 10 November 2015, the Department of Health published “Government response to No voice unheard, no right ignored – a consultation for people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health conditions”. 

Mencap and The Challenging Behaviour Foundation comment that it does not go far enough to create the right legislative framework to drive the change that is so desperately needed.

Jan Tregelles, chief executive of Mencap, and Viv Cooper, Chief Executive at the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, said:

"In response to the Green Paper proposals, families have already told the government about the devastating consequences of the serious power imbalance in the system – an imbalance which often results in the voices of people with a learning disability being ignored. Today’s response from the government to the consultation does not go far enough to address this and will deeply alarm and disappoint many families. 

"Serious legal issues, such as people with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges being sectioned when they do not have a mental illness, have been kicked into the long grass, with no timeframe set out to consult on this. Another key part of the proposals – giving people with a learning disability and their families the right to challenge inpatient admissions – has no timescale set out for the legal changes required. This is crucial in driving the bottom up change that is needed to ensure that the closure programme of inpatient units announced at the end of October by NHS England, the Local Government Association, and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services is successfully delivered. 

"We have seen two long-awaited announcements over the last couple of weeks. Both are aimed at ensuring that the thousands of people with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges who remain trapped in the system of out-dated care institutions, like Winterbourne View can return to their communities. The Department of Health have today set no targets or deadlines to create the right legislative framework to drive the change that is so desperately needed."

The Learning Disability Census 2014 from the Health and Social Care Information Centre reveals:

  • 3,230 people with a learning disability are still in inpatient settings, showing that there has been no meaningful improvement since 2013, when there were 3,250
  • The average length of a stay in an A&T unit is 5.4 years
  • 1,915 patients have been in an institution for more than 1 year
  • 175 patients have been in an institution for 10 years or more
  • 1,055 patients do not need inpatient care according to care plan
  • 2,345 patients (73%) had received antipsychotic medication either regularly or as needed in the 28 days prior to census collection. Use of antipsychotic medication had increased between 2013 and 2014
  • 1,780 patients (55%) have had one or more incidents (self-harm, accidents, physical assault, restraint or seclusion) in the three months prior to census day (2014).

-ENDS-

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact the Mencap press office on 020 7696 5414 or media@mencap.org.uk

Notes to editors

About Mencap

There are 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities.

Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.

www.mencap.org.uk 

For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact Mencap Direct on 0808 808 1111 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday) or email help@mencap.org.uk