Transforming Care: supporting people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health issues to move out of long-stay hospitals
evidence and practice    

Transforming Care: supporting people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health issues to move out of long-stay hospitals

Max Read Clinical lead, Waltham Forest Community Recovery Team, North East London NHS Foundation Trust, England

Why you should read this article
  • To enhance your knowledge of the Transforming Care programme aimed at supporting people with learning disabilities to move out of long-stay hospitals and live in their own homes

  • To recognise the complex challenges for people with learning disabilities, their families, staff and services in being supported to live in the community

  • To understand the importance of seeking the views of people with learning disabilities about deinstitutionalisation

The Transforming Care programme was devised by NHS England in 2015 with the aim of supporting people with a learning disability and/or autism who exhibit behaviour that challenges, including those with a mental health condition, to move out of long-stay hospitals and live in the community. The driving factor behind the programme was abuse and neglect experienced by people in long-stay settings, including those living at Winterbourne View, a private hospital near Bristol that was closed in 2011 after revelations that patients had been ill-treated. By March 2019, when the programme ended, the target to reduce inpatient bed capacity by 50% had not been met.

This article discusses the author’s experience as a dual-qualified social worker and mental health nurse employed by a Transforming Care Partnership. In this role, the author coordinated the discharge process for five people with learning disabilities and/or autism, often with co-morbid mental health issues, who had lived in hospital for 7-21 years. The complex multiagency work that enabled these successful discharges is explored and the article considers how this work can be built on in future to ensure more people with learning disabilities are able to live in their own homes.

Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2020.e2064

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

max.jervis-read@nelft.nhs.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Read M (2020) Transforming Care: supporting people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health issues to move out of long-stay hospitals. Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2020.e2064

Published online: 27 February 2020