75 have died in UK Autism and Learning Disability Units

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ASPartOfMe
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11 Dec 2021, 10:32 am

Seventy-five people have died in autism and learning disability units in England since 2015, Sky News reveals

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Seventy-five people with a learning disability or autism have died in inpatient units in England since 2015, Sky News can reveal.

It follows an independent review, commissioned by NHS Midlands, which found the death of Clive Treacey - one of the 75 - was "potentially avoidable".

Now Beverley Dawkins, the author of that review, has said she thinks all of the deaths revealed by Sky News should be re-examined.

Sky News has also learned that amongst the most recent deaths - 35 in the last three years - ten were under the age of 35.

Clive Treacey, 47, had a learning disability and died four years ago, and only now - after an inquest and investigations by multiple agencies - has Beverley Dawkins' review raised serious questions about his life and his death.

The review said people like Clive are still being placed in situations that "do not keep them safe".

There are currently 2,070 people with a learning disability or autism in hospital units - and more than 800 of those people are considered to be "fit for discharge".

Ms Dawkins said: "I'm beginning to wonder what it's going to take to get the changes in place that will enable people with a learning disability to have the life they should."

Sky News revealed in 2019 that Clive Treacey was one of 40 people with a learning disability or autism who have died while placed in a hospital unit between 2015 and 2018. A review by NHS England into the deaths had found "nothing untoward".

Now in a new Freedom of Information request, Sky News has learned that a further 35 people have died in autism and learning disability units since 2018.

She calls on the Royal College of Pathologists to review how effectively pathologists are implementing guidelines on autopsy practice for death in patients with epilepsy.

Yes, what us it going to take?


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“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


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21 Dec 2021, 8:55 am

Tony Hickmott: Autistic man was 'loneliest man in the hospital'

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A whistle-blower in the case of an autistic man who has been detained in hospital since 2001 says he feels complicit in his "neglect and abuse".

A BBC investigation found 100 people with learning disabilities have been held in specialist hospitals for 20 years or more, including Tony Hickmott.

His parents are fighting to get him rehoused in the community.

A support worker at a hospital where Mr Hickmott has been detained said he was the "loneliest man in the hospital".
The company that ran the hospital until 2020 no longer exists and former directors, who the BBC contacted, declined to comment.

Mr Hickmott was sectioned under the Mental Health Act in 2001. His parents, Pam and Roy Hickmott, were told he would be treated for nine months, and then he would be able to return home.

He is now 44 - and although he was declared "fit for discharge" by psychiatrists in 2013, he is still waiting for authorities to find him a suitable home with the right level of care for his needs.

Last month, the BBC overturned a court order allowing the reporting of his story - one that is now in the hands of the Court of Protection.

Following the report, Phil Devine came forward to talk about conditions at the hospital, which we are not naming for Mr Hickmott's care and wellbeing.
Mr Devine said he worked in the private, low-secure hospital as a cleaner and a support worker between 2015 and 2017.

Some of the patients there had committed crimes, while others, like Mr Hickmott, were detained under the Mental Health Act.
Mr Devine said only Mr Hickmott's basic needs were met. "Almost like an animal, he was fed, watered and cleaned. If anything happened beyond that, wonderful, but if it didn't, then it was still okay."
"The management at the hospital said to us: 'Here's a care plan. At so and so time get breakfast, at so and so time get him dressed'. That's just a schedule - that's not a care plan," he said. "It was strict, it was rigid. But that was all Tony had."

Mr Devine said unlike many other patients in the hospital, Mr Hickmott had very little freedom. He spent all of his time in segregation.

Mr Devine believes this was primarily down to the risk of other patients in the hospital. He said: "He had never committed a crime, but here he was, living in solitary confinement."

In 2020, the hospital was put into special measures because it did not always "meet the needs of complex patients". A report highlighted high levels of restraint and overuse of medication, a lack of qualified and competent staff and an increase of violence on many wards.

The hospital has now been taken out of special measures but still "requires improvement", according to the Care Quality Commission.

Mr. Hickmott is not alone in his detention. There are currently 2,070 patients held in hospitals and other secure settings across England. Some 100 of those have been detained for more than 20 years.

In 2015, the government promised "homes not hospitals" when it launched its Transforming Care programme in the wake of the abuse and neglect scandal uncovered by the BBC at Winterbourne View specialist hospital, near Bristol.
It has repeatedly missed its targets to close beds and move people close to home, back in their community with the right care and independence.

A spokesperson for the NHS said it was working closely with Tony, his family and local commissioners to meet his complex care needs.

It said the number of people with a learning disability or autism who were in a mental health inpatient setting had reduced by 28% since March 2015.

bolding=mine


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“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


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21 Dec 2021, 2:04 pm

Why the heck are these people being locked away? Some have even committed crimes? What crimes? Assault? Sexual abuse? Sexual Harassments?

Are they being locked away because the caretakers can't take care of them anymore due to age or the kids being too big for them now to handle or do they have aggression issues so they were posing a danger to their family so they got taken and put there?

Honestly imagine if aggressive autistic people and those with low IQs were handled the same way violent elderlies are handled that have dementia. They get so drugged up they are calm and are no longer violent. This is what happens in nursing homes here in the US.

And risk to other patients even though he has never committed a crime? Sounds like to me he has aggression issues.

Quote:
Mr Devine said only Mr Hickmott's basic needs were met. "Almost like an animal, he was fed, watered and cleaned. If anything happened beyond that, wonderful, but if it didn't, then it was still okay."
"The management at the hospital said to us: 'Here's a care plan. At so and so time get breakfast, at so and so time get him dressed'. That's just a schedule - that's not a care plan," he said. "It was strict, it was rigid. But that was all Tony had."


Sounds like he doesn't ever go anywhere and doesn't go anywhere else in the building to eat or to hang out with other patients and doing activities with them or even going outside. I have visited group homes and the retirement home my grandma lived in and they all hung out in the living room and had activities they did and watched TV or had board games. None of them were confined to their rooms and they all looked like bedrooms you see in a home. But sadly when it comes to someone with a very low IQ or severe autism and are very violent, the options for them are very limited and none of these places will take them and only options left are like those hospitals mentioned in the articles.


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21 Dec 2021, 2:52 pm

Autistic people are treated terribly in Autism learning disability units. I know this from first hand experience of being a disabled carer for a while but also from what I have read about and learned about online.

A lot of the techniques they use to 'manage' disabled people are just wrong and it is not the carers' fault but the business they are working for, in many cases.

I remember in a care home I worked at, all of the carers would switch the lights back on when an Autistic disabled resident would turn them off due to light sensitivity.

I had been telling them what it was like to be light sensitive & even wore dark glasses indoors - and they still didn't 'get' it.

It was an unholy level of ignorance.


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13 Jan 2022, 12:35 am

If you get diagnosed with Autism in Kentucky . They don’t want you to live or in jail.



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15 Feb 2022, 6:50 pm

NHS report finds racism

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A report by the NHS Race and Health Observatory finds “clear inequalities” in how ethnic minorities are less likely to be given Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

The report, evaluating the service of ethnic minorities by the NHS, finds that there are “clear inequalities” running through various branches of healthcare. From mental health to maternal services, including the relationship between the institution and minority healthcare workers, there appear to be significant issues.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, several other crises emerged. Experts say the healthcare backlog could take years to rectify, while services for mental health continue to be difficult to access. The mental health shadow pandemic is one that saw loneliness, depression and suicide rates increase among vulnerable communities in the UK. Some communities had less access to mental health help than others. With the NHS waiting list for therapy being notoriously long, individuals who are able to pay for private therapy are able to access help sooner.

In 2021, the Government-commissioned Sewell Report found that there was no longer institutional racism in the UK. But in this new report by the NHS Race and Health Observatory, links have been drawn between institutional racism and quality of healthcare.

The report also points out that there are “clear, very large and persisting ethnic inequalities” in admission to psychiatric wards – “particularly affecting Black groups, but also Mixed Black & White groups and South Asian groups.”

Researchers alarmingly found that Black patients in psychiatric wards were more likely to be restrained and treated with force.

Mental health treatment in relation to race can be a complex issue, with some communities raised to accept higher levels of psychological pain than others. However, the authors of this research emphasise that racism lies at the core of inequalities – both inside and outside of healthcare itself, at a foundational level. They recommend further research, more clear data made available and action at a Government level.

The report said: “In the UK context, the over-use of coercive mental health treatment under the mental health act for Black Caribbean and Black African groups and the under-use of specialist mental health services by South Asian (Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi) groups have been two of the main concerns articulated by health policy commentators, clinicians, and health researchers.”

Two large national studies found that ethnic minority children were far more likely to be referred to CAMHS via social services, education or criminal justice pathways. Black children were found ten times more likely than White British children to be referred to the services, as opposed to being given help via their GP.

Dr Andres Roman-Urrestarazu, lead researcher from the Autism Research Centre (ARC) at the University of Cambridge, said: “We can now see that autism is much more common than previously thought. We also found significant variations in autism diagnosis in different ethnic minorities, though the reason why this should be the case isn’t clear and warrants further research.”

Data from a different study found that Chinese pupils are 38% more likely to have autism than white pupils, with Black pupils 26% more likely.


Family's four-year wait for man's release from hospital
Quote:
The sister of a man with autism has called for more local support for families like hers after waiting four years for her brother to be released from a mental health unit miles away.

Beckii's family asked for temporary assistance in 2018 because Elliot, 26, was self-harming.

He was then taken to a hospital a long distance from his North Yorkshire home.

The Department of Health said it was trying to ensure the "right support" was in place within local communities.

Delays in finding Elliot suitable local accommodation and carers meant he would still not be allowed out until the summer, Beckii said.

The delays had been "never-ending", she said, adding that there needed to be facilities to treat people in their own communities rather than in hospitals.

Delays in finding Elliot suitable local accommodation and carers meant he would still not be allowed out until the summer, Beckii said.

The delays had been "never-ending", she said, adding that there needed to be facilities to treat people in their own communities rather than in hospitals.

Felicity Stephenson, from the National Autistic Society, said the country was in the middle of a "care crisis" and that successive governments had not invested enough in community services.

Ms Stephenson described the situation as a "national scandal".

A lack of community care support could trigger a crisis in people with autism which leads to them being sectioned, despite autism itself not being a mental health disorder, she said.

"We hear time and time again that autistic people are ready to be discharged. They don't have a treatable mental health condition anymore," she said.

"There's no reason for them to be sectioned in hospital, which could be miles and miles away from their families. But because there aren't any services within the community for them to move into, they remain in hospital."

NHS figures show more than 1,200 people with autism are being held in mental health hospitals, an increase of 10% since 2015.


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“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman