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Publication, Part of

Learning Disability Services Monthly Statistics (AT: July 2020, MHSDS: May 2020 Final)

Official statistics, Experimental statistics

Current Chapter

Learning Disability Services Monthly Statistics (AT: July 2020, MHSDS: May 2020 Final)


Latest monthly statistics on Learning Disabilities and Autism (LDA) from the Assuring Transformation collection and Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS).

This publication brings together LDA data from the Assuring Transformation collection and the LDA service specific statistics from the MHSDS.

There are differences in the inpatient figures between the MHSDS and AT data sets and work is underway to better understand these. NHS Digital plans to publish additional monthly comparator data from this work in future publications. The MHSDS LDA data are currently labelled experimental as they are undergoing evaluation. Further information on the quality of these statistics is available in the data quality page above. It is planned that the MHSDS will become the sole source of inpatient LDA data in the future, replacing Assuring Transformation.

There is a slight difference in scope between the two data collections. The MHSDS data is from providers based in England and includes care provided in England but may be commissioned outside England. Whereas the Assuring Transformation data are provided by English commissioners and healthcare will typically be provided in England but also includes data on care commissioned in England and provided elsewhere in the UK.

The release comprises:

Assuring Transformation Publication: This statistical release published by NHS Digital makes available the most recent data relating to patients with learning disabilities and/or autistic spectrum disorder receiving inpatient care commissioned by the NHS in England.

MHSDS LDA Publication: This publication provides statistics relating to NHS funded secondary mental health, learning disabilities and autism services in England. These statistics are derived from submissions made using version 4.1 of the Mental Health Services Dataset (MHSDS). Prior to May 2018 the LDA service specific statistics were included in the main MHSDS publication.

Each publication consists of the following documents:

• A report which presents England level analysis of key measures.

• A monthly CSV file which presents key measures at England level.

• A metadata file to accompany the CSV file, which provides contextual information for each measure.

• An easy read version of both main reports highlighting key findings in an easy-to-understand way.

A number of changes to NHS organisations were made operationally effective from 1 April 2020. These changes included: 74 former Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) merging to form 18 new CCGs; alterations to commissioning hubs; provider mergers; and the incorporation of Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) into the NHS commissioning hierarchy. The Organisation Data Service (ODS) is responsible for publishing organisation and practitioner codes, along with related national policies and standards. A series of ODS data amendments are required to support the introduction of these changes. This would normally result in a number of organisations becoming ‘legally’ closed including the 74 former CCGs. However, to minimise any burden to the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic and remove any non-critical activity, these organisations remain open within ODS data. ODS aim to both legally and operationally close predecessor organisations involved in April 2020 reconfiguration on 30 September 2020.

As all former and current organisations remain legally open, both may be presented within this publication. Activity may be recorded against either former or current organisations, depending on data providers and processors ability to transition to the new organisation codes at this time. The same activity will not be recorded against both former and current organisations. NHS Digital are working to understand the implications of this on how you can interpret these statistics and will provide more information in future editions of this publication series.

Due to the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) disruption, it would seem that this is now starting to affect the quality and coverage of some of our statistics, such as an increase in non-submissions for some datasets. We are also starting to see some different patterns in the submitted data. For example, fewer patients are being admitted to and discharged from hospital. Therefore, data should be interpreted with care over the COVID-19 period.

We hope this information is helpful and would be grateful if you could spare a couple of minutes to complete a short customer satisfaction survey. Please use the link to the form at the bottom of this page to provide us with any feedback or suggestions for improving the report.

120 were admitted to hospital


150 were discharged from hospital


2,100 were in hospital at the end of the month


890 were admitted to hospital


835 were discharged from hospital


3,335 were in hospital at the end of the month


Assuring Transformation

Data collected for LDA inpatients at the end of July 2020 show that:

  • 2,100 inpatients were in hospital at the end of the reporting period.
  • More inpatients were discharged (150) than admitted (120) to hospitals. Out of the 150 inpatients who were discharged/transferred from hospital in July 2020, 110 (72%) were discharged back into the community.
  • Many inpatients have been in hospital for a long time. Of those in hospital at the end of July 2020, 1,260 (60%) had a total length of stay of over 2 years.
  • At the end of July 2020, around half of inpatients (1,105, 53%) were in a non-secure ward. There were 995 (47%) inpatients in a secure ward.
  • The largest proportion of inpatients (30%) were aged between 25-34 (630) and the lowest proportion (2%) were aged 65 and over (35).
  • In line with previous months trends, there were more males (1,475) than females (620) in hospital this month (70% were male).
  • There were 120 admissions to hospital; of these 65 were first admissions, 25  were readmissions within a year of the previous discharge and 25 were transfers from other hospitals.
  • Less than half of inpatients (37%) last had a review of their care over 6 months ago (785 people).
  • Half of inpatients (50%) have a date planned for them to leave hospital (1,060).

Mental Health Services Data Set: Learning Disability and Autism Statistics

Summary of main findings as at the end of May 2020:

  • There were 3,335 people with learning disabilities and/ or autistic spectrum disorders (LDA) in hospital. 
  • There were 890 admissions and 835 discharges. 76% of these were discharged back into the community.
  • There were 203,090 referrals for people with LDA.

Of these inpatients:

  • 1,360 (41%) had been in hospital for over 2 years.
  • There are 540 inpatients with a planned discharge date (16%).
  • 125 (4%) had a delayed discharge. 
  • The largest proportion (32%) were aged between 25-34 (1,050). 
  • The lowest proportion (4%) were aged 65 and over (130). 
  • 72% were male (2,385) and 28% were female (940). 

Findings based on ward stays data:

  • There were 3,285 ward stays reported for the end of the period.
  • The largest group of inpatients were in a learning disabilities ward (1,395, 42%), followed by an adult mental health ward (1,295, 39%).
  • 1,960 (60%) were in a non-secure setting. 1,235 (38%) were in a secure setting.
  • 500 (15%) travelled over 50km from home to get to the hospital for care or treatment.
  • 540 patients were restrained at least once.

Last edited: 20 August 2020 8:55 am