Labour demands Government action to prevent vulnerable inpatient deaths

06 November 2018

Barbara Keeley, the Shadow Minister (Mental Health and Social Care) asked the Government about the long term seclusion and deaths of people with learning disabilities and autism in assessment and treatment units.

The Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care), Caroline Dinenage, responded to the urgent question and stated,

"Millions of people who work in the NHS and in social care do so every day with compassion and commitment [...] but sometimes the system gets in the way, and when we see that it is our task and our duty to change it."

The Minister acknowledged that the treatment of the most vulnerable people in inpatient care, including those with autism and learning disabilities, was in some cases, unacceptable. She restated the government's commitment to reducing the number of preventable deaths and echoed concerns expressed by other MPs about reported deaths.

Barbara Keeley responded by rebuking the government for trying to 'shoehorn an issue of this severity into an NHS policy announcement', referring to yesterday's Government Vision: Prevention of Ill Health statement.

Calling the treatment of autistic people and those with learning disabilities in treatment units, 'nothing short of a national scandal', the Shadow Minister demanded urgent government action.

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