SIR - The number of children with a learning disability or autism detained in institutions has more than doubled since 2015. We challenge the NHS’s explanation that this is due to changes in data collection - we’ve heard far too many stories of people being restrained to believe it.

For far too long, people with learning disabilities have been unnecessarily detained in institutions, denied access to the quality of care they deserve.

Steps taken to reduce institutionalisation since Winterbourne have made only minor progress. A lack of clarity around leadership and accountability means the fate of thousands of people lies in a delicate balance.

Sufficient funding from local authorities is a pipedream until pressures on social care budgets have been resolved – for which we look to the much-delayed social care green paper. The NHS England longterm plan does little to convince us that the needs of people trapped in institutions will be met.

We urgently look to government to ringfence funding to develop community services that fully meet the needs of the people they support. Many good providers and individuals are ready to provide this, but need upfront funding.

Until this becomes a reality, we will continue to go around in circles.

Alicia Wood, Dimensions