18 months on, Holloway mum still waiting for severely autistic son to be brought home from institution 70 miles away

PUBLISHED: 14:48 27 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:01 27 February 2018

Leo Andrade with her sons Joshua (left) and Stephen back in 2014.

Leo Andrade with her sons Joshua (left) and Stephen back in 2014.


A distraught mother is still waiting for her severely autistic son to be moved from a mental health facility 70 miles away – 18 months after being told it was happening.

Leo Andrade’s son Stephen, 23, is detained in an assessment and treatment unit (ATU) in Clacton-on-Sea – where he is on eight anti-psychotic medications and regularly self harms.

As reported by the Gazette in July 2016, Leo’s Bring Stephen Home campaign looked to have been successful when she was told he was being moved to a unit closer to her home in Rixon Street, Holloway – but then his psychiatrist advised against it.

Islington social services, care provider Islington CCG, and NHS England (NHSE) are working on Stephen’s case, and a house where he could live with 24-hour care was eventually bought in Hillingdon.

After a wait of five-and-a-half years, Leo was expecting him to be move in November last year before problems arose with adapting the home. The date has now been pencilled in for May.

“I feel very let down,” Leo told the Gazette. “He’s stuck in an institution 24/7. I was told after the first delay work was starting in December and then discovered it wasn’t, because of funding.”

To make matters worse, Stephen broke his clavicle in an incident with a carer last summer and is now begging her to come home whenever he sees her.

“Ever since, it’s been incredibly hard,” Leo added. “There are incidents every day where he’s hurting himself badly and attempting to hit his carers.

“It absolutely breaks my heart. He’s so sad. If sadness could kill, he’d be dead. He begs me: ‘Mummy, can we go home to London?’

“The drugs are destroying him. You can’t cure autism – it’s not like he has cancer. But all their answers are to inject him. It makes him totally catatonic.

“How is the NHS paying for eight meds to be administered to a young person with autism?”

Islington Council and the CCG issued a joint statement saying: “We are working with the NCL Transforming Care Programme team and NHS England to make arrangements for Stephen to move into his own home as soon as is safely possible. The extent and complexity of the adaptations required are much greater than first estimated. All parties are committed to arranging the significant capital investment.”

NHS England said it had agreed funding for a contribution towards the adaptations.

Related articles


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 17:42

The town hall wants the government to pay for fire safety measures after a committee called for sprinklers to be fitted in all high-rises – something that could cost up to £97million.

Yesterday, 16:54

Plans have been approved for a new children’s home in Islington to be run by a King’s Cross charity.

Dillon Zambon, one of the two young men accused of being part of Nashon Esbrand’s murder in Canonbury last year, this afternoon told a jury: “I never intended for Nashon to get hurt.”

Yesterday, 14:30

The heroic Islington firefighters who rescued Angel flood victims joined the Pearly King and Prince of Finsbury to be given the freedom of the borough last night.

Yesterday, 14:16

Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was slashed with a knife near King’s Cross station last night.

Yesterday, 11:16

City University students showed their support for striking lecturers by staging a sit-in protest this week.

Thu, 17:44

Business owners waded in to try and break apart a 20-strong group of scrapping teenagers in Highbury last night.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now