8 Nov 2023

‘It’s like torture’ – Patient with autism fears for his safety in mental health units

Health and Social Care Editor

People with autism and learning difficulties should be moved from institutions into the community, the government promised a decade ago. Yet tonight – in a joint investigation with the Independent newspaper, this programme can reveal the shocking treatment of a 28-year-old man who has now been locked up for more than 10 years.

Nicholas Thornton, who has autism and a learning disability, has been abused physically and verbally.  One nurse even tried to suffocate him.  Nicholas is currently in a mental health unit despite having no mental health diagnosis.

And a warning that this report contains distressing images.