November 6, 2014

NHS, UK – A leaked report by the NHS details that thousands of people with autism and other learning difficulties are in “inappropriate hospitals” instead of being allowed to live within their own community or at home.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, commissioned the  report, which calls for the NHS to “act with urgency” to discharge the 3,000 patients who are residing in these hospitals, who have autism or severe mental disabilities who could be back in their community.

It is also implied that there is sometimes a cash intentive to keep such individuals within the hospital setting as their care can cost up to £3,000 a week and therefore calls strongly for an end to this system where cash is used as an intensive to keep these patients in hospital.  It also addressed the issue that financial incentives should be introduced to discharge theses patients.

Sir Stephen Bubb, the chief executive of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations chaired the inquiry that states;

“(it is) not acceptable in the 21st Century for thousands of people to be living in hospitals when with the right support they could be living in the community.”

Michelle Daly, image taken from the Warrior Mums Blog website
Michelle Daly, image taken from the Warrior Mums Blog website

The Sunday Times article also goes on to add that Michelle Daly, who is founder of the Warrior Mums blog series and book, which tells the stories of parents caring for their children with special needs, told that:

“People with autism are being assessed for psychiatric problems when they don’t have them, and are living in psychiatric hospitals with drug addicts and people with serious mental problems. A lot of parents want their children home or nearby but there aren’t the places in the community”

Autism Daily Newscast have reported on such stories. One being the case of Claire Dyer who is situated a 5 hour hour drive away from her family in Swansea. Leo Martinez’s son, Stephen is also miles away from home in a psychiatric unit at St Andrew’s Hospital. On Sunday after visiting Stephen, Leo tweeted:

“it’s the visit. It just breaks my heart, my son asking to come home. Xx”

The original article by Marie Woolf in The Sunday Times can be found here


About the author 

Jo Worgan

Jo Worgan is a published author, writer and blogger. She has a degree in English Literature. She writes about life with her youngest son who is on the autistic spectrum. Jo tweets (@mummyworgan) and is also a freelance columnist for the Lancaster Guardian. ‘My Life with Tom, Living With Autism‘ is her second book and a culmination of her blog posts, and available on Kindle now, along with her first book, Life on the Spectrum. The Preschool years.

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