The NHS Confederation has welcomed the progress made on the government’s programme to close down NHS campus accommodation for people with learning disabilities in England in favour of community alternatives.
Yvonne Cox, policy lead on learning disabilities for the confederation, said that it looked “pretty likely” that the government would meet its April 2010 deadline to move all campus residents into the community.
Her comments follow on from health minister Lord Darzi’s announcement during a debate at the House of Lords that the number of people with learning disabilities living in NHS campuses had been slashed from 2,140 in August 2007 to about 1,000 in October last year.
Responding to concerns highlighted in the debate over inadequate provision of community services, Cox said that it had been proved that it was possible for everyone to be live in the community no matter how severe their condition.
She added: “While I fully understand the concerns, many families with sons or daughters with very profound and complex needs have and are being successfully supported in the community.
“Long-stay hospitals have been closing since the late 1970s, so it is the completion of a very long journey.”