Skip to main content

No voice unheard, no right ignored – a consultation for people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health conditions , DH (2015)

This consultation seeks to explore views on a range of proposals. They are intended to strengthen or build upon existing policies, including some of those set out in:
 
Valuing People, Department of Health (2001)
 
Valuing People Now, Department of Health (2009)
 
Fulfilling Potential, Department of Work and Pensions (2011)
 
Government Response to Raising our Sights: services for adults with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities – A report by Professor Jim Mansell (2011)
 
Caring for Our Future, Department of Health (2012)
 
Transforming Care, the Department of Health Review into Winterbourne View Hospital, Department of Health (2012)
 
Think Autism, HM Government (2014)
 
Review of the Operation of Sections 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 Report and Recommendations, Department of Health and the Home Office (2014)
 
Transforming Care – Next Steps, NHS England and System Partners (2015)
It also seeks views on proposals developed in response to:
 
issues raised during the 2014 consultation on the Mental Health Act Code of Practice regarding the Mental Health Act primary legislation; and
 
some of the recommendations of the 2015 NAO report Care Services for People with Learning Disabilities and Challenging Behaviour.
This is a consultation. It sets out a range of potential ideas rather than a single package of measures which necessarily need to be taken together. We are therefore also seeking views on which of the measures contained in this document would be likely to have most impact.
Scope
The scope of the consultation primarily relates to:
(i) assessment and treatment in mental health hospitals for people (all age) with learning disability or autism;
(ii) adult care and support, primarily for those with learning disability but also for adults with autism (and the links to support for children and young people); and
8 No voice unheard, no right ignored – a consultation for people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health conditions
(iii) all those to whom those Mental Health Act currently applies (including children and young people);
Other elements included here, particularly, where they relate to the Care Act 2014, may be of relevance to adults in receipt of social care, including those with other disabilities.
Some of the proposals relating to possible amendments to the Mental Health Act are not intended to apply to patients under Part 3 of the Mental Health Act (those who have entered via the criminal justice system). This is because of those patients’ particular needs and the important responsibility of the Secretary of State for Justice and the National Offender Management Service in relation to public protection. The scope of proposals in relation to this group of patients is set out for each relevant section.
Part three of the Children and Families Act 2014 offers a real opportunity for many of the people whose needs this document focuses on. The Act requires local authorities and clinical commissioning groups jointly to commission services, and encourages services to identify children and young people with very complex needs at a much earlier point. Through a joined up, person centred Education, Health and Care assessment and planning process, there should be a much clearer focus on helping children and young people prepare for adulthood, including employment and independent living. In combination with the Care Act 2014, the legal framework exists to support successful transition to adult services. This paper therefore does not cover any further proposals in this area.
This is a consultation by the Department of Health in England. However, the Mental Health Act applies across England and Wales and any changes to the law in Wales would have to be agreed by the National Assembly for Wales.
Who is this consultation for?
We are, in particular, seeking views from:
 
People with learning disability, their families and carers;
 
People with autism, their families and carers;
 
People with mental health needs, their families and carers;
 
Individual health and social care bodies responsible for the planning, commissioning and provision of services for people with learning disability, autism or mental health needs;
 
Individual health and social care professionals;
Representative local and national organisations for health and social care bodies or professionals;
 
Individuals or organisations with evidence regarding the costs and potential impact of any of the proposed measures;
 
Individuals and organisations with an interest in health and care legislation, in particular, the Mental Health Act;
 
Individuals and organisations with an interest in restricted patient processes and support under the Mental Health Act;
About this consultation 9
 
The police and other emergency responders who may be called on to respond to people experiencing mental health crises; and
Any other party with an interest in improving the rights, health and wellbeing of people of all ages with disability.
New burdens
The Department of Health will work with the local government sector to assess fully the costs of any new burdens resulting from the proposals as they develop. It also undertakes to ensure that any additional costs that may arise are fully funded.
Terminology
We recognise that in many local areas, learning disability and autism are separately commissioned and provided services. One or other may, in some circumstances, be combined with mental health services. This document is not intended to impact on these arrangements.
Learning disability1
Learning disability can be defined as a disability which includes the presence of:
 
a significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information, to learn new skills, with;
 
a reduced ability to cope independently; and
 
which started before adulthood, with a lasting effect on development.
Autism
Throughout this document, as in the Adult Autism Strategy for England, we use the term “autism” as an umbrella term for all autistic spectrum conditions, including Asperger Syndrome.
Consultation period
The consultation will run for 12 weeks from 6 March 2015 to 29 May