No freedom, no dignity, no life

Time to Act - Leo shares her son Stephen's story

It’s a human rights scandal that you might not have heard of – over 2000 people with a learning disability and autistic people are being held in inpatient mental health hospitals often far from home and family, at an increased risk of abuse and neglect.  

Too many are there not because they need inpatient mental health treatment – they are locked up because there is a lack of the right support in the community to meet their needs, including skilled social care support and suitable housing.  

Since the Winterbourne View scandal, uncovered by BBC’s Panorama in 2011, the government has repeatedly made promises to bring people out of hospital and back into their local community with the right support, near their family and friends. 

But progress by government, the NHS and local authorities has been far too slow.  

The government committed to reducing the number of people with a learning disability and autistic people in England in mental health hospitals by 50% by March 2024. We estimate that the government will miss this target by more than four years.  

Enough is enough – people should be able to live in homes, not hospitals. 

Join the fight for their freedom by taking action today.