Far Less Than They Deserve

Far Less Than They Deserve Children's Commissioner

New Children’s Commissioner Report about children with learning disabilities or autism living in mental health hospitals.

A new report from the Children’s Commissioner reveals that too many children are unnecessarily admitted to secure hospitals.

In some cases children spend months and years of their childhood in institutions when they should be in their community.

The report warns that the current system of support is letting down some of the most vulnerable children in the country. There is shocking evidence of poor and restrictive practices and sedation.

Some children told the Children’s Commissioner of how their stay in mental health hospital has been traumatic. Parents too often feel powerless to intervene.

“They are some of the most vulnerable children of all.”

Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield wrote a foreword to the report in which she discussed the “nightmare” situation faced by many families:

I will never forget the stories I heard from mums and dads at a meeting I arranged for parents with children in these units and their tears of frustration and anger.

Some of them have a child locked away in a series of rooms for months. Others have to listen as they are told by institutions that their children have had to be restrained or forcibly injected with sedatives. They feel powerless and, frankly, at their wits end as to what to do.

A national strategy is needed to address the values and culture of the wider system across the NHS, education and local government so that a failure to provide earlier help is unacceptable, and admission to hospital is no longer seen as almost inevitable for some children.

You can read the report in full here.