Our Letter to the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Initial reply November 5th 2018

EHRC Letter part 1
EHRC Letter part 2

Dear Julie

Subject: People with learning disabilities and autism - inpatient unit placements

Thank you for writing to me to highlight your concerns about the breach of rights of people with learning disabilities and autism inappropriately detained in private inpatient units or Assessment and Treatment Units.

I have read your letter with care and concern and agree that it is entirely unacceptable that people who need care and support like Bethany, featured on the recent BBC Radio 4 File on Four programme, are treated in unsuitable and dangerous conditions. Recent coverage of deaths in ATUs has highlighted the grave breaches of human rights that can occur when people with learning disabilities and autism are held in these units.

As you know, we have recently held meetings with NGOs and lawyers and with individuals who have family members in inpatient units. We have listened carefully to their concerns and are now considering what action the Commission could take. The Commission has a range of potential enforcement powers and we will determine which would be most effective in tackling the human rights and equality issues that arise in light of the evidence that we have received so far. We are grateful for your letter and will take your suggestions into account in deciding the best way forward.

I will make sure you are kept informed about how we decide to move forward.

Thank you again for taking the time to draw my attention to this matter.

I appreciate it very much

Yours sincerely

Rebecca Hilsenrath