North East Autism Society chief executive John Phillipson has applauded Shadow Mental Health and Social Care Minister, Barbara Keeley for using World Autism Day to bring to the attention of parliament the urgency for high-need autistic people to be properly protected and supported within care settings.

It was during discussions around the Mental Capacity Bill in the House of Commons earlier this afternoon that Ms Keeley called for time to be taken to ensure vulnerable people are offered the most stringent levels of care and protection. She said:

Ministers seem less concerned about making the right reforms as they are about making reforms right away.

She referenced the recent, horrific revelations of neglect and abuse at Mendip House in Somerset; a facility for autistic adults under the governance of the National Autistic Society and also thanked North-east MPs from Stockton North and Stockton South for contributing to the case for making necessary amendments to protect the rights of vulnerable adults.

Barbara Keeley, Shadow Mental Health and Social Care Minister

John Phillipson said:

I would personally like to thank the shadow minister for speaking out so frankly and candidly because we cannot allow these issues to be swept under a carpet – or to happen again. It’s a shame that the only reference to autism in parliament today was in connection to autistic people being failed. However, while the eyes of the world are on all things autism I’m delighted the shadow minister has taken this opportunity to ensure a better future for so many.

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