Update letter about Assessment and Treatment Units - June 2021
Assessment and Treatment Units (ATUs)
Assessment and treatment units are like a special kind of hospital ward. They are for people with learning disabilities who might also have mental ill health or if their behaviour is challenging.
In West Yorkshire, people sometimes get sent to assessment and treatment units when they don’t need to be. Some people end up staying there for a long time. This is because there is nowhere else close to where they live for them to be supported well.
We know that it is not good for people’s health and it is expensive for health care services.
In our area, there are three 'Transforming Care Partnerships'. They cover Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Wakefield and Barnsley. They want to stop people with learning disabilities being sent to assessment and treatment units when they don’t need to be. If people do need to be then they must stay in one near to where they live. Community services will be made better and people will get the right care and support for them.
This will mean that more people can stay in their own homes and be close to where their friends and families live.
In 2019 we looked at the way care is provided across the three assessment and treatment units and how as a region we make the best collective use of our services. You can read a report about when we talked to people about ATUs here. A quality and equality impact assessment has been completed and is available on request. You can call 01924 317659 or email email@example.com for a copy of the assessment.
More engagement with people who access care, their carers and staff who work in the units was due to start in Spring 2020, but due to the Coronavirus pandemic this activity was paused. Soon after that time, the unit in Leeds was also repurposed, due to the need for extra space related to the pandemic. However, with the support of Inclusion North, a specialist organisation who works with people with complex needs/learning disabilities, this work has now started.
More information and how to get involved
- answer our online survey
- email firstname.lastname@example.org request a paper copy of the survey
- more information about the enagement, other ways to get involved and documents
What does this mean for people?
Over the next few months we will be looking at the way we provide care in our areas. We will work out how we can share our skills and resources to give everyone a better service.
At the moment there are 22 beds for people with learning disabilities in ATU’s in West Yorkshire.
We will be looking at how we can have less than 22 beds. We want to support more people in their own homes and close to where their friends and families are.
Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this work has been paused by NHS England until government restrictions are lifted.
Talking to people
We will make sure that we talk to people who go to ATU’s and their families and carers.
We will also talk to staff who work in the services and other people who are involved.
It is important that people help us to develop our plans to change the future of mental health and learning disability services in West Yorkshire and Harrogate.
More information about assessment and treatment units
NHS England: Getting it right for people with learning disabilities ‘Going into hospital because of mental health difficulties or challenging behaviours: What families need to know’.
Who is making sure this process is correct?
The Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny committee brings West Yorkshire authorities together to provide an overview of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Plan and the work of the various boards that form part of the overall governance arrangements for the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership.
Plans for services and engagment are shared with the committee, who then discuss and agree the approach and ask us more questions if they need to.
Papers relating to Assessment and Treatment Units