Two years ago, the previous Committee of Public Accounts reported on the Department of Health’s efforts to move people with a learning disability out of mental health hospitals and into the community. In April 2017, the acting Committee published a report (pdf) on current local support.
The report found that:
- Progress had been poor but the Committee was promised improvements
- The Department and NHS England have since made progress. They have developed the Transforming Care programme and moved some people out of hospital.
- There needs to be a greater focus on measuring outcomes and improvements to the quality of life from the £8 billion central and local government spend each year on this support.
The Committee recommends that:
- Starting in July 2017, NHS England should update the Committee annually on its progress to reduce the number of beds in mental health hospitals
- NHS England should report to the Committee in six months on the effectiveness of its refreshed care and treatment policy
- NHS England should set out how it will ensure that patients and families are supported to advocate for themselves or have access to effective advocacy.