Editorial

Bringing it all back home

The number of people with learning disabilities living in hospital-type accommodation in England remains stubbornly high, but chief nursing officer Jane Cummings says at last there are signs that things are improving.

The number of people with learning disabilities living in hospital-type accommodation in England remains stubbornly high, but chief nursing officer Jane Cummings says at last there are signs that things are improving.

At the end of last year, information from the Health and Social Care Information Centre’s learning disability census suggested there were about 3,000 people in such units, down only 250 from the 2013 figures , and almost half have been there at least two years.

But in an interview with Learning Disability Practice Ms Cummings confirmed that further progress has been made in settling people into more homely accommodation and the figure is now down to about 2,500.

Progress is slow, but the trend is finally in the right direction.

Transferring people from assessment and treatment units is the right thing to do, but such transfers can be fraught

The number of people with learning disabilities living in hospital-type accommodation in England remains stubbornly high, but chief nursing officer Jane Cummings says at last there are signs that things are improving.

At the end of last year, information from the Health and Social Care Information Centre’s learning disability census suggested there were about 3,000 people in such units, down only 250 from the 2013 figures, and almost half have been there at least two years.

But in an interview with Learning Disability Practice Ms Cummings confirmed that further progress has been made in settling people into more homely accommodation and the figure is now down to about 2,500.

Progress is slow, but the trend is finally in the right direction.

Transferring people from assessment and treatment units is the right thing to do, but such transfers can be fraught

Transferring people from assessment and treatment units is the right thing to do, but such transfers can be fraught because of the often complex nature of the problems such individuals face, and the logistics of providing suitable accommodation in residential areas.

Rohit Shankar and his colleagues have designed a transfer tool to maximise the chances of a smooth transition in such situations. Making sure that important details are always addressed can make a huge difference to the success of settling people back into their home localities.

Let’s hope that the resource is adopted and used widely, and that large numbers of people are transferred back as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, here is a date for your diary. The second annual Learning Disability Practice conference will be held in Manchester on October 4. I hope to see you there.

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