Councils to be incentivised to discharge LD and autism patients from mental health settings into the community

The Government has today (16 July 2020) announced that £62 million of 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.

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 funding can be spent on costs associated with discharge, including establishing community teams, funding accommodation and staff training.

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.

In light of the failure to deliver on the Transforming Care agenda, let’s hope this new fund delivers the outcomes it is intended for.