In 2015, NHS England published a new national plan under the ‘Transforming Care‘ agenda, called Building the Right Support.
The plan was for autistic people not to live in inappropriate inpatient units, such as assessment and treatment units or other mental health units.
Instead they should be supported in their communities, closer to their families and friends. Click page icon for a National Autistic Society (NAS) 2016 article or PDF icon for the 2015 NHS plan. See also comment on the funding plans.
Progress of the agenda was debated in parliament in 2018. Several MPs raised the challenges faced by autistic people who are stuck in mental health hospitals, highlighting that the number of autistic people in these hospitals has increased during Transforming Care. Click icon for article
A 2019 interview with Carole Buckley may be of particular interest. She is a retired GP who has and autistic son and is the Royal college of general practitioners clinical representative for autism. Click icon for interview.
- A report by the Children’s Commissioner for England in 2019 says that too many young people are being admitted to secure mental health hospitals unnecessarily and are spending years in them. See ITV News
- The NHS has announced that autistic adults will be included in a new and expanded learning from life and death reviews programme (LeDeR), which aims to improve health and care services. See article 2021
Number of autistic people in mental health hospitals. See latest data 2021
Due to on-going difficulties with mental health services, in 2020 the NAS launched their own Autism inpatient mental health casework service. It offers confidential advice and support for autistic people at risk of going into inpatient units or stuck in them. Click icon to find out about it.