Cornwall

Parents' plea to bring son with autism home to Cornwall

Josh Wills
Image caption Josh's parents travel 260 miles to visit him in Birmingham

A 13-year-old boy with severe autism has spent 18 months away from his family because he cannot be cared for in his home county.

Josh Wills from Redruth, Cornwall, is in a specialist unit in Birmingham.

His parents, who have travelled a total of 40,000 miles to visit him, have started a petition to bring him home.

NHS Kernow said it recognised the importance of family connections but "Josh's exceptionally high care needs mean this is not possible yet".

'Quite traumatised'

Josh's condition is so severe he has spent the past 18 months in a specialist unit in Birmingham, five hours' travel from home.

His parents, Sarah Pedley and Phil Wills, started a petition to bring him home after they learned he could be moved long-term to Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire.

Ms Pedley said: "You can't suddenly take a child's life away with no preparation, to be dumped in a completely alien environment without his family.

"It's left him quite traumatised."

Beverley Dawkins, of learning disability charity Mencap, said: "This is a very loved young boy who loves the time with his family.

"He has some complex needs... and he did need the specialised services, but that time has finished and he needs to have a service designed for him near his family."

NHS Kernow, which has met the family, said: "We are working towards bringing Josh home as quickly as we can."

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