1/Children & young people with autism and learning disabilities who could be living in the community with specialist support are languishing for years in Assessment & Treatment Units, some of them locked up 24/7 in isolation rooms, bec of severe financial pressure on Local Auths
2/ At the same time, private providers running these ATUs are raking in profits, being paid £452m per yr in what has become a market driven provision where autistic and LD people are little more than commodities
3/ This in spite of the fact that caring for them in the community would be far less expensive not to mention far better for the individuals concerned, their quality of life, their security and safety and their wellbeing
4/ In England 665 people are currently held in ATUs when assessments have deemed the placement unsuitable and indicated a community setting is appropriate. The numbers of people in this situation are increasing in spite of gov't targets to reduce them.
5/ The av. length of stay in an ATU is 5 years but can be much longer. One 17 yr old with autism has been held in isolation for 21 months now. She's given meals via a hatch in a metal door and never allowed out. Her dad has to kneel down to chat to his daughter via this hatch
6/ She has parts of a biro embedded in her arm where she self harmed and no attempt was made to remove them by staff, it's been 4 weeks and counting. It's deemed too dangerous to allow her to be treated. The self harm is the result of how anxious and depressed she has become
7/ #WalsallCouncil changed their minds about providing her with specialist setting in the community. So in spite of the fact assessments state her ATU cannot meet her needs, she remains locked away in seclusion, causing her to become clinically obese, & worsening her anxiety
8/ The nos of children in ATUs has doubled since 2015 because there has been insufficient focus on developing community provision, when the nos were meant to be coming down. Yet Adult Social Care will have an overall funding gap of £3.5billion by 2025 - due to gov't funding cuts
9/ Human rights of people detained in ATUs are routinely breached. In England, 2016, 15,000 physical restraints were used and in 2017 this went up to 22,000. Face down or prone restraint also increased in this period from 2,000 uses to 3,100. Demeaning, dangerous and traumatising
10/ Pharmaceutical interventions went up from 1,800 in 2016 to 2,300 in 2017. Seclusions went up by 40% to 2,000 in 2017. ATUs are usually full to capacity & sometimes go above 100% occupancy. They're under massive strain, understaffed or using agency staff increasing risk...
11/ ...of violence and use of force. The growing use of physical restraint is of serious concern and a major backwards step. Patient on patient assaults are also on the rise: in 2016 there were 3,600. This rose to over 9,000 in 2017 and the numbers are still rising
12/ Local Auths, the #CQC, the #ombudsman, all are failing to give a voice to or protect these powerless, voiceless, invisible, vulnerable young people who are effectively detained when they have been assessed as suitable to live in the community.
13/ The NHS and the Local Authorities are not working together to ensure funding flows into community settings. In a civilised society it's intolerable that children and young people are being locked up and the key thrown away for years and years because of #governmentfailure...
14/ After the scandal of #WinterbornView, after the #TransformingCare programme of 2015 was set in motion, and the target of cutting the nos of people in ATUs by 50% by March 2019 was made, it seems that instead of declining, institutional care is on the rise
15/ in spite of the policy agenda and the rhetoric, people with #learningdisabilities and #autism - even #children- have been hung out to dry by this #Government in a shocking abdication of duty and in breach of their #HumanRights.
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