CQC calls for action to fix the closed system that leads to people with a learning disability or autism being segregated in hospital.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is calling for an independent review of every person who is being held in segregation in mental health wards for children and young people and wards for people with a learning disability or autism. These reviews should examine the quality of care, the safeguards to protect the person and the plans for discharge.
CQC makes the recommendation in the interim report published today in which it shares early findings from its review of restraint, prolonged seclusion and segregation for people with a mental health problem, a learning disability or autism.
The review, which was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, also highlights the need for a better system of care for people with a learning disability or autism who are, or are at risk of, being hospitalised and segregated.
From an information request sent to providers CQC was told of 62 people who were in segregation. This included 42 adults and 20 children and young people – some as young as 11 years old. Sixteen people had been in segregation for a year or more – one person had spent almost a decade in segregation. The longest period spent in segregation by a child or young person was 2.4 years.
CQC has so far visited and assessed the care of 39 people in segregation, most of whom had an autism diagnosis. CQC state;
‘We are calling for urgent action to strengthen the safeguards that protect the safety, welfare and human rights of people held in segregation.’
The full press report can be read here