Funding has now been made available for 2019-20 in order to continue the Transforming Care programme, as in-keeping with the NHS Long Term Plan‘s promise to increase investment for these patients.
The Transforming Care programme was designed to improve services for patients with learning disabilities and autism. In doing so, it was hoped that NHS England could close 30-50% of beds for these patients by March 2019, but that target has been missed.
According to the Health Services Journal, no details have been made available on the magnitude of the funding available this year for the programme, or whether it will continue in future years.
However, the programme has been questioned by commissioners and they will be curious as to whether previous doubts and concerns have been addressed.
Mencap, a leading charity for people with learning disabilities and autism, gave its views with Dan Scorer, head of policy, saying:
“Uncertainty around funding and future plans for the Transforming Care programme means uncertainty for each and every family who is in a desperate situation, not knowing when they will next see their loved ones living in the community where they belong.
“To avoid the same failings we’ve seen over the last eight years, NHSE needs to detail its long-term funding commitment, including what is available at national and local levels, to ensure that people with a learning disability stop being put at risk of abuse and neglect in inpatient settings, where they can end up trapped, on average for more than five years.”
Find out further information on the NHS Long Term Plan here.