COMMONS

Money must follow patients to pay for support in the community

26 April 2017

The Public Accounts Committee report, Local support for people with a learning disability, says greater focus is needed on measuring outcomes and improvements to quality of life.

Progress made by Department in past two years

Two years ago, the previous Committee of Public Accounts reported on the Department of Health's (the Department) efforts to move people with a learning disability out of mental health hospitals and into the community.

At that time, the Committee found that progress had been poor but was promised improvements. We can see that the Department and NHS England have since made progress. They have developed the Transforming Care programme and moved some people out of hospital.

Money not moving with patients into community support

However, more needs to be done to address known barriers: money is not moving with the patient to pay for support in the community, too many people are not having care and treatment reviews and the uncertainty caused by the proposed changes to local housing allowance risks hampering the provision of accommodation in the community.

We are also concerned that support for people with a learning disability who live in the community is patchy; there are significant local variations but, on average, fewer than 6% of people with a learning disability are in employment and only 23% of people with a learning disability are registered as such with their GPs.

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.

Further information

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