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Anna Kennedy OBE interviewed on Sky News

Autistic individuals and People with LD are being detained in hospital miles away from home.
The government has missed a long-standing target to reduce the number of people with autism and learning disabilities detained in hospitals
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Some 2,045 people with autism or learning disabilities are currently detained in psychiatric facilities in England, many of them sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
People with a learning disability and autistic people can be sectioned even if they do not have a mental health condition.
 
According to learning disability charity Mencap, the average time people stay in hospital is nearly five years.
The government pledged that by the end of March 2024 they would reduce the number of people with a learning disability or autism in mental health hospitals by 50% to no more than 1,445 inpatients.

 

 

Anna was interviewed on Sky News

 

‘ The way autistic people and people with learning disabilities being locked up in these hospitals is a human rights scandal. Parents I have spoken to have shared their loved ones have been detained in padded , solitary cells without windows. They are forced to sleep on a plastic mattress, use a bowl for toileting and handed food through a hatch.
 
In my opinion some of these places sound like a statefunded hell hole.
Some autistic individuals are being treated like criminals and are miles away from home and their families. 
 
In my opinion this is a failure of local authority officials and health commissioners who hold the purse strings.
After the Winterbourne scandal in 2011 there was a promise from the government to transform care.
 
Five years ago the government backed NHS long term plan stated that by the end of the month it would more than halve the number of people with autism and learning disabilities detained in mental health hospitals from the 2900 individuals held in 2015. Latest NHS figures now show 2045 detentions. 
 
Anna also spoke about the petition she handed in to No10 with over 17k signatures with the heading ‘Who will look after our children when we are no longer around?’ This is a question that keeps many parents up at night and reading this recent report on this human rights scandal happening to autistic people we can understand why. 
 
We must as a country do better!! 
 
 

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