CQC calls for more action following its 'Out of sight - who cares?' review
The latest progress report from The Care Quality Commission reveals more people with mental ill-health, autism and learning disabilities are in long-term segregation than in 2018 - when the report was first commissioned.
Of the seventeen recommendations made by the CQC eighteen months ago, only four have been partially met, while thirteen others have not been met at all.
The CQC’s progress report highlights that although the number of people with a learning disability in hospital has nearly halved since March 2015, the number of people with autism has increased considerably over the same period.
Overall, too many people still remain in hospital. In addition, many are staying too long, not receiving therapeutic care and are still subject to restrictive interventions.
Debbie Ivanova, CQC deputy chief inspector for people with a learning disability and autistic people, commented:
“The Out of Sight report was intended to improve care for people and lever the change that must happen to improve the lives of people with a learning disability, autistic people and or those with mental ill-health.
“This has not happened and there are still too many people in mental health inpatient services. The pandemic has clearly had an impact on services and the people that use them in a way that could not have been foreseen. However, progress on the recommendations we made for change have not been happening quickly enough.
“We are calling on all partners to commit to a renewed effort to move forward, sharing responsibility for implementing the changes needed. The focus must be on meeting people’s individual needs. Services must fit around people rather than trying to fit people into services that can’t meet their needs.”
Jemima Burnage, CQC Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals and Lead for Mental Health, added:
“Almost 18 months have passed since we recommended what must change to improve the care and support received by people with a learning disability, autistic people, and people with mental ill-health.
“Some investment has been made into projects supporting people to come out of long-term segregation, and funding has been allocated to increase community support. However, for real impact to be felt progress must now be accelerated.
“Changes must now be co-produced at system level, provider level and at an individual level by collaborating with people and their families.
Integrated Care Systems will play a key role in ensuring these changes are delivered and we welcome the announcement that a named lead for learning disabilities and autism will be on each local integrated care board.”