State of Mental Health: Plain English Summary

Today the Care Quality Commission (CQC) released a report about the state of mental health services from 2014 to 2017.

The report found that although some mental health services have improved, there are still problems.

More than 3500 patients are kept locked-in which means they are not able to leave. Some people are sent far away from home.

One psychiatrist described this as a ‘Victorian approach’.

Our Co-Founder, Gary Bourlet, has often talked about the fact that we need services fit for the 21st Century. It looks like we are not there yet.

The report has a chapter on mental health care for people with learning disabilities or autism. We have pulled out the main findings for our members.

You can read the full report here.

What does State of Mental Health tell us about Learning Disability Services?

The report said that a hospital must never be considered ‘home’ for people with a learning disability.

The report showed that community services for people with learning disabilities are more likely to be rated good or outstanding than wards.

Nearly two thirds of wards were rated as good and 8 out of 10 community services were rated as good.

Just under a tenth of wards and community services were rated outstanding.

27% of hospital wards for people with learning disabilities need improvement.

CQC is worried about how often restraint and seclusion are used in some learning disability services. There were no exact numbers given for how often this happens.

Restraint is where you hold someone so that they cannot move. Seclusion is when you keep people on their own.

The report found that staff in too many services weren’t using the Mental Capacity Act correctly. This was sometimes because staff didn’t have the right training.

The report also talked about Transforming Care which is the plan to get people with learning disabilities out of long-term hospitals and back into the community.

Transforming Care has been ‘patchy’ across England. This means that in some places it is working well but in others it is not working well.

Too many people that have been in hospital for a long time and there are no plans for them to be discharged

CQC’s biggest concern was the safety of inpatient services.

Inpatient services are services where you get medical treatment and you have to stay overnight for at least one night.

Over one third of inpatient services require improvements to make them safer.