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Autism: Psychiatric Hospitals

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 226553, tabled on 27 February 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve support for autism in inpatient mental health facilities.

Answered on

4 March 2019

NHS Improvement has introduced Learning Disability Improvement Standards for providers of National Health Service funded care in England to help ensure that trusts monitor, improve and review the care they provide to people with a learning disability or autism. Inclusion of the improvement standards in the NHS Standard contract 2019/20, mandated by NHS England for use by commissioners of all healthcare services except primary care, means that all providers, including those that provide mental health inpatient facilities, must have regard to the improvement standards.

On 13 February 2019 the Department launched a consultation on mandatory learning disability and autism training to ensure that staff working in health and social care understand the needs of people with learning disabilities and autism and have the skills to provide them with the most effective care and support. Officials have worked with people with lived experience of learning disabilities and autism to develop the consultation proposals.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is undertaking a thematic review of the use of restrictive interventions in settings that provide inpatient or residential care for people with mental health problems and a learning disability and/or autism. It will review and make recommendations on the use of physical restraint, prolonged seclusion and segregation to ensure that the least restrictive approaches are adopted. The NHS Long Term plan commits NHS England to work with the CQC to implement its recommendations.

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