DH launches census of cost of learning disabilities campus closures

The government is carrying out a census of people with learning disabilities in NHS campus accommodation to help fund people’s move into the community.

The census will determine the distribution of £96m of funding from 2008-11 to support the Department of Health’s programme to close all remaining campuses and move residents into the community by April 2010.

Campuses are NHS-run group homes where residents are classed as in-patients and research has shown they are likely to have less choice and fewer things to do than people with learning disabilities in other types of accommodation.

Transition costs
The funding will pay for person-centred planning, care management, workforce training and development, as well as other transition costs such as support for inclusive community activities.

It is in addition to the £175m of capital funding announced last year to fund new or revamped housing in the community for people who move out of campuses.
However, funding will not be reserved for areas which currently have people living in campuses, but will be distributed on the basis of the number of campus residents in different areas as of 1 April 2001.

Closure plan
This is to ensure that councils that have taken action to move residents out of campuses since 2001 – when the planned closure was announced – will not be penalised.

The definition of a campus resident includes people with learning disabilities who had been in NHS treatment and assessment centres for 18 months or more, as of April 2001, and were neither compulsorily detained nor undergoing treatment.

Last June, Community Care found that half of strategic health authorities did not then have accurate figures on the number of campus residents because they had not established how many were in the treatment and assessment category.

Councils have until 10 April to complete the census.

In a statement, the DH said: “We appreciate that this information may not be readily available and that this may not be a straightforward task. It will certainly involve working closely with your NHS colleagues across the system and with other local authorities where necessary.”

More information

Department of Health learning disability information

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