Report into children with SEND being 'stuck' in mental health hospitals

News - 21 May 2019

Anne Longfield, the Children's Commissioner for England, has published a hard-hitting report entitled 'Far less than they deserve: Children with learning disabilities or autism living in mental health hospitals' which shows how many children are being admitted to secure hospitals unnecessarily.

In February 2019, there were 250 chidlren with learning disabilities and/or autism in mental health hospitals - this is a rise from 110 in 2015. These childern are also being detained in hospital for too long - an average of 6 months in their current hospital and 8 months in inpatient care in total. Many of these placements are far from home, with 95 children placed more than 50km from home.

The report illustrates the variable quality of care in hospitals, with some receiving excellent support but others with 'shocking stories' to tell. There is evidence of poor and restrictive practices and sedation, leaving some children traumatised. Data indicates that for the 75 children recorded as having been restrained in one month (December 2018), the average was 11 incidents of restraint per child.

These issues are compounded by the fact that children's care is not regularly reviewed, with 1 in 7 children not having had a review recorded in the last year. Parents feel disempowered, and are not always informed about incidents involving their children .

Read more detail from the office of the Children's Commissioner here and the full report here:  

Far less than they deserve: Children with learning disabilities or autism living in mental health hospitals

Related resources

  • Graduated approach prompt

    Tool - 30 Aug 2019 Silver AND Gold Member Only

    A useful tool for silver and gold members in the EYFS, primary, secondary and post-16 settings. This resource is designed to help teachers work their way through the graduated approach for those pupils that haven’t necessarily yet been identified with SEN but for whom there are initial concerns.

  • Ofsted Education Inspection Framework

    Information - 29 Aug 2019 Silver AND Gold Member Only

    Available to silver and gold members, this information based resource will be suitable for SENCos and leaders in Early Years settings, Schools and Colleges. The resource can be effectively used as part of the self review and improvement process, key benefits of this resources is to gain a concise overview of the Education Inspection Framework and implications of practice.

  • Pupil Passport

    Tool - 29 Aug 2019 Silver AND Gold Member Only

    Available to silver and gold members, this useful person centred working tool is suitable for those supporting pupils in Early Years, Primary, Secondary and post 16 settings. The resource can be used to outline a pupil’s key strengths, needs and the strategies and key adjustments to teaching that are needed every day. It can provide a useful vehicle for meaningful discussion around learning between the teacher and the pupil, involving them positively in discussing effective approaches to enable better engagement. Working in a person-centred way (across the whole setting), including the use of person-centred tools, is essential for not only populating the passport but also for getting the most from using it.