£62m to help discharge people with learning disabilities or autism into the community will be set aside by Government.
Funding will be given to local councils to accelerate discharge of patients with learning disabilities or autism (or both) from mental health hospitals into the community.
The funding can be spent on costs associated with discharge, including establishing community teams, funding accommodation and staff training.
It comes as the Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has called for a renewed focus to ensure people with learning disabilities or autism are discharged promptly from hospital back into the community.
Commenting, health and social care secretary, Matt Hancock said: “Far too many people with learning disabilities and autistic people remain in hospital when they could receive better-suited support in their communities, closer to their homes and loved ones.”
Adding: “So, I am delighted this new funding will help local authorities to support discharges into the community more quickly for people with learning disabilities and/or autism.”
While minister for care, Helen Whately, continued: “People with a learning disability and autistic people should have the best possible care, and I am determined to put an end to the health inequalities they too often face.
“Few of us would choose to remain in a hospital bed when we could be receiving better care in our own community. This funding will speed up discharge from hospital wards making a real difference to people’s lives.”
Named the Community Discharge Fund, the funding will help to move people with learning disabilities and autistic people into more appropriate care: either into less restrictive settings or into the community, where appropriate.
The fund, split over 3 years, will give local authorities additional money to remove some of the obstacles to discharging inpatients.
The new funding will help to cover ‘double-running’ costs such as establishing community teams, funding accommodation and staff training. Local authorities and Transforming Care Partnerships will be able to use the funding on the most appropriate measures for their area.