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The treatment of autistic people and people with learning disabilities: a report from the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee

Information below extracted from the summary of the full report: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/6669/documents/71689/default/ – some sentences shortened/simplified.

The poor treatment of autistic people and people with learning disabilities has been a problem for the NHS and care system for a long time.

An example of poor care and abuse was exposed by reports and investigations into the Winterbourne View hospital which took place in 2011.

The fact that these issues have not been resolved 10 years later is a scandal in its own right.

Although governments and the NHS have focused on supporting autistic people and people with learning disabilities from Winterbourne View and many other institutions to live independent and fulfilled lives in the community, there remain over 2,055 people in secure institutions today.

During our inquiry, we heard that this is often because of a lack of good support in the community.

Instead, autistic people and those with learning disabilities can find themselves experiencing really poor treatment in inpatient facilities which has included being subject to abusive restrictive practices; being detained for long periods of time in facilities that do not meet their needs; and being kept long distances away from their family and friends.

This is often because autistic people and those with learning disabilities are treated as if their condition is an illness instead of a fundamental part of their identity.

Throughout our inquiry, we wanted to focus on the needs of, and challenges facing, autistic people and people with learning disabilities.

We have also assessed how the wellbeing of autistic people and people with learning disabilities can be improved in any setting, whether inpatient or community, and the need for independent reviews into the deaths of autistic people and people with learning disabilities.

The British Institute of Human Rights have made some easy-read information that helps describe the main points of the report. You can read this by clicking here: https://www.bihr.org.uk/News/easy-read-new-report-on-treatment-of-autistic-people-and-people-with-a-learning-disability

When there is a full easy-read version of the report, we will share it on the Suffolk Learning Disability Partnership website.

The NHS has recently launched the 'Help Us, Help You' campaign. The campaign encourages people to contact their GP if they are worried about a symptom that could be cancer. Find out more: NHS.uk/cancersymptoms ...

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