The Department for Health and Social Care has announced a £62m package today (July 16) to help local councils to discharge people with learning disabilities or autism from hospitals into the community.
Secretary Matt Hancock has called for a renewed focus to better support people with learning disability or autism and accelerate their return from hospital.
The Community Discharge Fund, split over three years, will provide financial support to local authorities to remove the obstacles apparent when discharging people and will cover costs incurred through establishing community teams, accommodation and staff training.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“Far too many people with learning disabilities and autistic people remain in hospital when they could receive better-suited support in their communities, closer to their homes and loved ones.
“So, I am delighted this new funding will help local authorities to support discharges into the community more quickly for people with learning disabilities and/or autism.”
Independent reviews, commissioned by the Health Secretary last year, overseen by Baroness Hollins have made recommendations to support people moving to less restrictive settings as quickly as possible.
Baroness Hollins said:
“Since November I have been reviewing all of those instances when people with learning disabilities and autistic people have been detained in long-term segregation. I have now appointed an oversight panel to assist me in understanding what I have found out, and in making urgent recommendations to the government. Our aim is to prevent the use of seclusion and restraint in future.”
The funding for councils in England is broken down into £20m in 2020 to 2021, £21m in 2021 to 2022 and £21m in 2022 to 2023 and will be allocated to a nominated local authority in each Transforming Care Partnership based on forecast need.