Health and Learning Disabilities System that turns people with learning disabilities into commodities

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Shock report tells of system that turns people with learning disabilities into commodities

'A trade in people' with learning disabilities and/or autism has been uncovered by a partnership of activists, families and Lancaster University academics.

The new report from the University's Centre for Disability Research (CeDR) found that last year 477 million was forecast to be spent on keeping just 2,500 people with learning disabilities and/or autism in hospital and that 52% of those beds were provided by the independent sector.

The report, entitled 'A Trade in People: The inpatient healthcare economy for people with learning disabilities and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder', also states:

- The number of people in inpatient units run by the independent sector is increasing when national government policy is for the opposite to happen

- The way in which the healthcare economy has been encouraged to develop by recent governments turns people into commodities and liabilities.

- Independent sector inpatient services charge more; are, on average, poorer quality in terms of being compliant with Care Quality Commission standards (and their use of restraint); and people stay in them for longer

The report says there is little control over where units are located and highlights the 'pull effect' of having large independent providers of in-patient provision.

The report captures moving evidence, from families, of the 'struggle' and impact on both the inpatient and the family.
It adds: "It is clear to us that the way in which the healthcare economy has been encouraged to develop by recent governments turns people into commodities and liabilities."

"The uneven spread of provision has led to the development of what is effectively a 'market' of people with a learning disability which the growth of the independent sector has intensified."



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Health and Learning Disabilities System that turns people with learning disabilities into commodities

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