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‘Progress needed’ to move inpatients to community


19 March 2014

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Large numbers of patients still do not have arrangements to move from inpatient care into the community, despite agreements following the Winterbourne View scandal. 
Data collected from clinical commissioning groups and area teams has shown that out of a total of 2,577 patients with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour, 260 have a transfer date, 172 of which are before 1 June 2014. 

Large numbers of patients still do not have arrangements to move from inpatient care into the community, despite agreements following the Winterbourne View scandal. 
Data collected from clinical commissioning groups and area teams has shown that out of a total of 2,577 patients with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour, 260 have a transfer date, 172 of which are before 1 June 2014. 
Following the Winterbourne View enquiry, NHS England agreed to “review all current hospital placements and support everyone inappropriately placed in hospital to move to community-based support as quickly as possible and no later than 1 June 2014".  
More progress must be made to move people into the community, NHS England has said. 
NHS England hopes that this first data release will provide a baseline from a commissioning perspective in the future. 
The main reason for people not having a planned transfer date is a clinical decision (1,108). Also, it can take several months to find the right accommodation and ensure all necessary support is in place, the data show. 
NHS England conceded that: "Commissioners may not be able to set a transfer date until these issues have been resolved. The ideal position will be that when someone is admitted they have a planned transfer or discharge date. 
"Just because there is no planned transfer date it does not mean that people are inappropriately placed; it is about the principle of moving people on in a timely way." 
"NHS England will be working through local commissioners to drive change to ensure all patients are safe and agree the number of people who, with the right assessment, can be moved into the community. 
"It will be providing additional support to CCGS from the Improving Lives Team established by NHS England, to review the care of former patients of Winterbourne View and other complex cases. It will also develop clinical guidelines to support local areas to provide good quality joint planning and assessment."
Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer for England, said: “Even though many of these patients have complex needs, they deserve a transfer date and to know when they will be returning home. Therefore, it is very important that we collect and publish this information so the public are aware of the progress being made in their local area. We need to be open and transparent without breaching patient confidentiality. We are increasing our efforts and will work with the Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme and other partners to escalate the urgency and priority of this programme. This will ensure the inclusion of safety, patient and family choice into the delivery of credible and sustainable care plans.”
Bill Mumford, director of Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme, said: “We are a long way adrift of where we want to be but the data has achieved its purpose: to provide transparency and hold us all to account. The national partnership has to do better and now we’ve established this quarterly reporting we can track our progress.
"Perhaps more importantly local area partnerships need to use the data relevant to them to aid local decision making and accountability and monitor local activity in support of this particularly vulnerable group of people and their families.”

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