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Autism and Learning Disability: Patients

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 10681, tabled on 4 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of people with (a) learning disabilities and (b) autism who are in inpatient units; and what steps he is taking to reduce this number.

Answered on

15 June 2021

According to the latest NHS Digital Assuring Transformation data, at the end of April 2021, there were 2,040 people with a learning disability and autistic people in specialist-in patient settings in England. Of those, 875 people had a learning disability and were not autistic; 635 were autistic without a learning disability; 515 had a learning disability and were autistic; and 20 people were recorded as ‘none of the above’. Numbers by diagnosis are rounded to the nearest five and therefore may differ from the overall total.

Overall, this is a net reduction of 30% on the inpatient number in March 2015. The NHS Long Term Plan commits to investing in community alternatives to hospital to achieve at least a 50% reduction in the number of people with a learning disability or autism who are inpatients in mental health hospitals by 2023/24. The Building the right support Delivery Board has been established to drive further progress and can commission any work considered necessary to ensure the target is met.