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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-19231: Annie Wells (Glasgow)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 4 October 2018

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of new figures obtained by BBC Scotland that show people with learning disabilities and autism are still being required to live some distance from their families, and its commitment in 2013 that "by 2018 people with learning disabilities and autism and complex care needs who are currently in facilities outwith Scotland should be supported to live nearer their family in Scotland", what action it (a) has taken and (b) will take to reduce the number of out-of-area placements.

Answered by: Clare Haughey 31 October 2018

I recognise how very difficult it is for families and people with learning disabilities if they are placed out of area in a different local authority or delayed in hospital settings.

Dr MacDonald was commissioned to specifically look into the issues of delayed discharges and out-of-area placements following publication of the Mental Welfare Commission's report “No Through Road” in 2016. Dr MacDonald’s work means that we are now much better informed about the issues and gaps in services, and able to address these.

The report is due to be published soon and has been discussed at stakeholder events over the summer that have considered the next steps for our learning disability strategy "Keys to Life". We are committed to considering how best to take forward work based on Dr Macdonald’s findings, including discussing this with Health and Social Care Partnerships in relation to the commissioning of local services, developing community services, transition planning and specialist skills.