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State of Care for people with autism, learning difficulties and poor mental health 'worrying' says DRUK

15 October 2019

Care provision for people with poor mental health, autism and learning disabilities is failing nationally. These are the key findings of the Care Quality Commission's annual State of Care report published today.

Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of the CQC said: "too many people can’t get access to the right care at the right time and services are struggling to cope with increased demand... Whilst most care is good, too many people are unable to access good care when they need it. Some people are being pushed into wholly inappropriate care settings, such as emergency departments, when they are not able to get the care they need locally.

Increased demand combined with challenges around workforce and access risk are creating a perfect storm, meaning people who need support from mental health, learning disability or autism services may receive poor care; have to wait until they are at crisis point to get the help they need, be detained in unsuitable services far from home; or unable to access care at all.

Difficulties in accessing the right care can mean that people with a learning disability or autism end up detained in unsuitable hospitals."

DRUK's Sue Bott says: "This is another worrying report from the CQC showing how services for disabled people, especially learning disabled people, continue to deteriorate. Politicians of all parties need to urgently get away from just thinking about the glamorous side of acute health to considering how to provide the essential support people need to live good lives in the community."