£62m helps. But what Transforming Care really needs is Consequences

Dimensions welcomes today’s announcement of funding through the Community Discharge Fund to support people with learning disabilities and autism to move out of hospital and into community support.

Transforming Care data also released today reveals that coronavirus has led to a significant decline in the number of people discharged from hospital and Assessment and Treatment Units. Those entering ATU are now less likely than ever before to get the essential Care and Treatment Review (CTR) that should frame their treatment and discharge, and the average inpatient stay has increased to over 2000 days – almost six years. Dimensions has previously called for financial consequences – penalties – for hospitals that fail to conduct timely CTRs.

The data also shows a substantial long term decline in the involvement of families and advocates in care planning for ATU inpatients. Why are these basics being overlooked?

Taken together, these data paint a deeply concerning picture of life in ATU. And in a further poke in the eye for government policy, a new 40-bed NHS hospital has just been commissioned in Liverpool.

Steve Scown, Dimensions CEO says ‘the Fund has been announced against a backdrop of severe pressure on local authority budgets, with ADASS reporting some 35% of adult social care directors have no confidence in their budgets being sufficient to meet local statutory duties this year. The Community Discharge Fund must be robustly ring-fenced to ensure it doesn’t simply plug a growing hole in local authority finances.

Now more than ever, the government must act to reform adult social care on a cross party basis so that high quality services for people who have a learning disability and autism can be developed in a functioning social care system.’


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