1,700 service users still in NHS campuses

About 1,700 people with learning disabilities remain in NHS campuses, according to the first of a series of six-monthly counts to track progress towards the government’s target of closing them by 2010.

The Department of Health said the November 2007 count was yet to be finalised but it was likely to be about 1,700.

NHS campuses tend to be group homes housing former long-stay hospital patients where research has shown people with learning disabilities have less control over their lives than in other settings.

Data provided to Community Care by the 10 strategic health authorities last June revealed there were just under 1,700 people living in campuses, but half the SHAs said they did not have complete figures.

This was because they did not know how many people had been admitted for treatment or assessment, but had been living on NHS campuses for at least 18 months and were no longer receiving treatment.

Earlier this year, the DH widened this category of resident to include those living on campuses for longer than a year.

Last week, the DH said it would carry out a census of people in NHS campuses as of April 2001 to determine the distribution of £96m from 2008-11 to support transition to accommodation in the community.

It said it did not want to penalise councils that had already moved people.

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Caroline Lovell



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