The Care Quality Commission has published this year's State of Care report, their annual assessment of the state of health and social care in England. The report shows that the overall proportion of inpatient services for people with a learning disability and/or autistic rated as inadequate has risen from 4% to 13% – almost entirely based on deterioration in independent services, rather than NHS services. The CQC has also published a report on the assessment of mental health services in acute trusts.
Responding to the State of Care report, Dr Adrian James, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said:
“It’s of great concern that people with a learning disability and those living with autism are receiving worse care than before, at a time when their mental and physical health are at an even greater risk due to the pandemic
“Time and time again those in social care with mental health needs are treated like second class citizens. The government needs to act now and invest heavily in suitable services, workforce and facilities if we are to avoid an impending catastrophe.”
Responding to the additional report on the assessment of mental health services in acute trusts, Dr James, said:
“The disparity between mental and physical health in some emergency settings is very worrying. People with physical and mental health needs should be able to get the right care when seeking emergency treatment.
“Some of the examples of inadequate care in this report are shocking. To fix this, we need urgent reform including joined-up support for emergency services, better discharge packages for those leaving hospital, more comprehensive 24/7 liaison psychiatry services, improved crisis care in the community and an increase in mental health beds.
“We must act now to improve a system that isn’t fit for purpose and is hurting patients.”