Our Instant Eight Point Plan


We are currently consulting on a revised version of our 8 point plan

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This week the journalist Ian Birrell had talks with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care's team, Ian wanted to know what we thought Matt Hancock should do about inpatient hospitals and he needed to know what we thought now.

In the spirit of transparency we thought we'd share what we came up with - this is our Instant Eight Point Plan. It's far from perfect but that's irrelevant really, because it looks like Matt is going to ignore almost every suggestion we've made.

The key is to have a rights-based approach - a system to ensure local areas have plans to uphold citizen rights, in conjunction with families, which is then monitored to ensure this actually happens. And then when an individual's rights are not being upheld, the local authority is held accountable. Also, of course, to boost community provision and support to ensure people don't spiral into crisis.

Key points to build on lessons of Transforming Care and Building the Right Support.

  1. A review of every person with autism and/or LDs in psychiatric inpatient settings within 12 months with an agreed discharge plan for community services, based around and recognising the human rights of the individuals. Reviews then take place annually for every person still sectioned.
  2. New, independent centralised body to drive process led by people with learning disabilities, autistic people, families, people with senior political accountability/expert lawyers from field. This body must have real authority to direct and monitor delivery. Where commissioners are failing to be able to use statutory powers (under Localism Act) to take over and deliver community services. Answering direct to secretary of state for health and chief executive NHSE.
  3. Ring fence money to transfer to local authorities/ double funding for existing services if contractual arrangements require or break contracts with failing providers.
  4. Families given extra and full rights at all stages of process, including when people are sectioned (i.e. end use of gagging orders, ban on visits, etc).
  5. Total transparency on costs and services, with new body issuing annual report publishing all available data on costs, numbers, etc broken down nationally and by local authority.
  6. Establishment of new regional hit squads made up of families, lawyers and advisers to assist any people where there is the possibility raised of sectioning to avoid such use wherever possible.
  7. Government to back LB Bill that proposes legislation making community support the default option instead of hospital or institutional care as a default to stop more people unnecessarily entering ATU s when a community service is more appropriate - although family choice always paramount.
  8. STOMP principles to be embedded in all NHS and private practice. Immediate ban on prone restraint.

This does not go into three other related but crucial areas: the role of rapacious private firms, under-diagnosis of autism in girls, the need to ditch autism/LDs in mental health law. Move on any of these fronts would be welcomed.