A Trade in People: The inpatient healthcare economy for people with learning disabilities and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder

In this report Mark Brown, Elaine James and Chris Hatton have gathered data from Freedom of Information requests and combined with other available data sources to analyse spending on hospital placements for people with learning disabilities and autism.  They explore the factors that influences people being kept in hospitals across the country.  They conclude that:

‘…data indicates that inpatient rates are being influenced by the decisions of healthcare entrepreneurs to locate in areas where house prices are lower and that once there, the length of their stay in hospital will be influenced by the care infrastructure that is in place. Namely the numbers of people who are inpatients, the number of CQC registered settings and the number of s117/CHC packages of care.

If considered in conjunction with the experiences of people with learning disabilities and their families and the content of a number of the Transforming Care Plans, it is clear to us that the way in which the healthcare economy has been encouraged to develop by recent governments turns people into commodities and liabilities. For local authorities and CCGs they are liabilities that they have often sought to export to other areas and for independent hospitals they are a commodity and source of millions of pounds of income and profit’.

You can access the report here:


The report was also summarised in a blog on day 2 of the current 7 days of Action Campaign, available here:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *