Today we have published a report on the experiences of being in hospital for people with a learning disability and autistic people.
Our report ‘Who I am Matters’ is a stark reminder that people with a learning disability and autistic people are still not getting the care they need, when they need and shines a light on the impact these failings have on people and their families.
During February and March 2022, CQC visited eight hospitals in England which found that although there were pockets of good practice, people with a learning disability and autistic people are still not being given the quality of care and treatment they have a right to expect when they go to hospital.
Our report looked at: Access to care, Communication, Care and treatment in hospital, Protected characteristics and equality of care and Workforce skills and development.
It is clear from our findings and other multiple studies published previously that, nearly 6 years after Oliver McGowan’s death, change and improvement is still too slow. As well as being a key equality issue, this is a critical patient safety issue.
Key findings include:
People have a right to expect:
Access to Care
Care and Treatment in hospital
Other equality characteristics and quality of care
Workforce skills and development
CQC’s Director for People with a learning disability and autistic people, Debbie Ivanova said:
“For too long people with a learning disability and autistic people have not been getting the care they need, when they need it.
“This is not only distressing for the individuals and for their families and carers but can also significantly affect people’s health outcomes.
“We know that better communication, real involvement and appropriate adjustments are all key to improving people’s experiences of care when in hospital. During our time spent in hospitals looking at how care and treatment was delivered, we saw pockets of excellent work. However, nowhere did we see this happening in a way which was joined up or consistent.
“We are determined to improve the care for people with a learning disability and autistic people. Now is the time for action and I encourage all health and care leaders to use the learning from our report to drive improvement – to recognise and respect each person's humanity and individuality and respond differently."