The Care Quality Commission today published an Interim report:

“Review of restraint, prolonged seclusion and segregation for people with a mental health problem, a learning disability and or autism.”

The report focuses exclusively on the experience of those people cared for in segregation on a mental health ward for children and young people or on a ward for people with a learning disability or autism. It follows visits to 35 wards and looking at the care provided to 39 individuals. It makes a number of recommendations for the health and care system.

Preliminary Findings include

  • Many people visited by CQC had been communicating their distress and needs in a way that people may find challenging since childhood, and services were unable to meet their needs.
  • A high proportion of people in segregation had autism.
  • Some of the wards did not have a built environment that was suitable for people with autism.
  • Many staff lacked the necessary training and skills.
  • Several people that we have visited were not receiving high quality care and treatment.
  • In the case of 26 of the 39 people, staff had stopped attempting to reintegrate them back onto the main ward. This was usually because of concerns about violence and aggression.
  • Some people were experiencing delayed discharge from hospital, and so prolonged time in segregation, due to there being no suitable package of care available in a non-hospital setting.

CQC intend to continue this review looking at a wider group of settings including adult social care and working with Ofsted to consider the use of restrictive practices in residential childcare and secure children’s homes.