Legal challenge over detainment in ATUs

Health Secretary faces legal challenge for failing patients with learning disabilities and autism

Today we have launched a legal challenge against the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care over the repeated failure to move people with learning disabilities and autism into appropriate accommodation.

We have longstanding concerns about the rights of more than 2,000 people with learning disabilities and autism being detained in secure hospitals, often far away from home and for many years.


Hampshire have a purpose built block of flats to use as supported living homes for those in long stay hospitals currently out of the area, but staffing is a huge headache. The New Forest has one of the highest populations of elderly, some of the most well off people in the country, and some of the most expensive houses.
The housing waiting list is about 10 years. So there is a huge demand for carers cleaners etc. but not many to go round as they can’t find affordable properties. The council will only pay the minimum wage, which people could get for much easier work in a supermarket.
In order to bring people home there needs to be a complete rethink about the staff and the wages of people with severe learning difficulties living in the community. I get really annoyed to see companies advertising for carers for those with LD saying “no training needed”. My son’s brain damage means that in some ways he is a 3 year old child, in other ways a completely normal 40 year old man. Caring for him isn’t easy because you have to be aware of the challenges of the damaged bits whilst allowing the normal bit all the opportunities he wants. He has a photographic memory and his memory for peoples names and places is way better than mine. Last year on holiday we had a meal in a great pub, I couldn’t remember the name, but he had it in an instant!!