Stop caging people with autism and learning disabilities, says Robert Buckland

This report (from January 2022) – by Shelley Phelps and Kate Whannel – comes from the BBC. It begins:

Ex-Justice Secretary Sir Robert Buckland is calling for changes to mental health laws to stop people with autism or learning disabilities being detained in hospitals for long periods.

Last year, the BBC found that 100 people with learning disabilities and autism had been held in hospitals for at least 20 years.

Sir Robert said the ‘effective caging of human beings’ was ‘out of date’.

The government said it was ‘determined’ to reduce numbers in hospitals.

A spokesperson from the Department of Health said it was ‘investing in community services and supporting discharges,’ with £90m of additional funding this year.

And Health and Social Care Minister Gillian Keegan said the government was creating an ‘action plan’ to be rolled out as soon as possible.

Sir Robert, who has an autistic daughter, raised the subject in Parliament on Thursday, apologising for not doing more on the issue when he was on the front bench.

The South Swindon MP told the Commons 2,085 people with autism or a learning disability were in inpatient units at the end of November, and 200 of them were under 18.

He said the average length of stay was 5.4 years, but some had been detained for 20 years or more …”

You can read more from here.

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