People in BSW with learning disabilities and autism to benefit from a share of £40m investment in care

People living with autism and learning disabilities cross BSW are set to benefit from a £40m NHS investment to improve acute mental health care in the South West

Twenty new mental health hospital beds across the South West will help bring an end to long-distance placements, making life better both for individuals who need hospital treatment, and for their families, friends, and carers.

This will go hand in hand with improvements to local care and support of individuals with a learning disability and autistic people so they can live healthier, happier lives in their local communities.

Two new 10-bed units, in Bristol and Devon, will be designed specifically to care for individuals with a learning disability or autistic people who would benefit from treatment in a hospital and whose needs cannot be met in a mainstream mental health hospital, even with reasonable adjustments.

It is the first time systems across the region have worked together to deliver these services and while it will result in an increase in beds in the South West, it will not result in more people being admitted to hospital. Instead, only those who genuinely need to be in hospital can be, and closer to home. Only a very small number of people will require these services.

Subject to planning permission, a new 10-bed facility will be developed at the Blackberry Hill Hospital site, Bristol, run by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP) and another 10-bed centre is proposed for the Langdon Hospital site in Dawlish, which would be run Devon Partnership Trust (DPT).

Laura Ambler, Executive Lead for Learning Disabilities and Autism, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, said:

“This new facility has been designed with input from service users, people with a lived experience, and their families and carers and will provide the kind of specialist therapeutic mental health care which cannot be provided at home or in another mainstream hospital.”