Help my son get the autism care he needs

Help my son get the autism care he needs

10 February 2016
Petition to
Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP (Minister of State, Department of health) and
This petition made change with 333,374 supporters!

Why this petition matters

Started by Isabelle Garnett

Matthew is our beloved 15-year-old son. He has autism, learning difficulties, ADHD, along with complex and yet un-assessed mental health difficulties that require urgent investigation and treatment. But for the last six months, he has been denied this, trapped, alone, in a place unequipped to look after him.

In September 2015 Matthew was detained under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act in a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) - the equivalent of an A&E, but for mental health illnesses. We were told this was temporary and that within six weeks he would receive an autism-specific assessment, treatment and care. Half a year later he has not been moved. What I was promised would be a six week pit stop has become a six month jail sentence.

His chances of recovery are diminishing every day that the NHS fails to provide him with the appropriate care he urgently needs. Matthew’s deteriorated since he has been in the PICU and staff have themselves admitted that unit cannot appropriately care for him.

If our son had a severe physical illness, and was detained in a random A&E department miles away from his home for six months, refused assessment, treatment and care, it would be seen as totally unacceptable, an outrage, a scandal. Yet, because our son has autism and mental health problems, the issue has been swept under the carpet.

The doctors tell us ‘the problem is at commissioning level’. When we ask what can we can do to fix it, they reply, 'There’s nothing that be can be done.’ But together we can! Petitions have helped to get autistic children the care they need before and with public support we can help Matthew now. The more people who sign this petition, the more the Government will have to hear about what's happening to Matthew - and do something about it.

We are calling on the Alistair Burt MP and NHS England to urgently find space for Matthew in a specialist autism facility where he can get the treatment he needs.

Please sign and share our petition and make room for Matthew. 


This petition made change with 333,374 supporters!

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