The government has been urged to take urgent action following the publication of data from NHS Digital, which revealed that a high number of restrictive interventions are being used on over 2,000 people with a learning disability and/or autism in inpatient units.
According to the data, 1,950 adults and 235 children with a learning disability or autism are currently being held. A high number of uses of restrictive interventions have also been reported – 3,500 in one month, of which 805 were against children.
Mencap said these figures are likely to be just the “tip of the iceberg” as the data is only for 3 out of 18 private/independent providers and 28 out of 54 NHS providers.
The figures were published a week after the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) threatened legal action against the Health Secretary over the government’s repeated failure to stop human rights abuses in in-patient settings.
The EHRC said currently there is a “systemic failure to protect the right to a private and family life, and right to live free from inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.
Equality and Human Rights Commission: Health Secretary faces legal challenge for failing patients with learning disabilities and autism
NHS Digital: Learning disability statistics