Our health system is responsive to improving the health inequalities faced by people with learning disabilities. We believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure people with learning disabilities will be as healthy as they can be. We intend that people with learning disabilities will experience the best possible health care and have improved outcomes from their health services. Our Learning Disabilities Health Inequalities Challenge is the programme that will drive this aim.
Reasonable adjustments are a legal requirement to make sure health services are accessible to all disabled people (Equality Act 2010). This includes people with a physical disability, sensory disability, learning disability or a long-term condition such as dementia.
The development of the Reasonable Adjustment Digital Flag on the NHS spine holds huge potential for improving health outcomes for people with learning disabilities and autism, and potentially saving lives. Following publication of an Information Standard Notice in 2023, organisations are preparing for implementation by 31 March 2024.
Reasonable Adjustments are things like:
· making sure there is wheelchair access
· providing easy read appointment letters
· giving someone a priority appointment if they find it difficult waiting in their GP surgery or hospital
· booking longer appointments if someone needs more time to understand the information they are given
· changes that require significant planning across the health and care team to enable access to an appointment.
It is important to listen to people, families and carers about what reasonable adjustments people might need.
Identifying the need, providing the reasonable adjustment in a timely and effective manner, documenting and sharing it, can lead to improvements in the individual’s health and wellbeing and also to:
· build relationships with people and the families you care for
· improve experiences of people accessing health & care
· improve DNA rates
· improve experience of health & care professionals.
All staff have a role to play in ensuring reasonable adjustments are identified, documented and provided.
You can use these resources created by partners across West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership to help you:
Use this training programme Caring for People with Learning Disabilities elearning to find out about reasonable adjustments, annual health checks and more.
You can use these posters, social media tiles and video call backgrounds if helpful:
Getting ready for a talk about your health (EasyRead)
With acknowledgements to our colleagues at North East and Cumbria Learning Disabilities Network who have shared their assets with us.
Training and work resources
Reducing the risk of health deterioration for people with a learning disability
People with a learning disability can often be reliant on health and care staff, including social prescribers and non-clinical colleagues, to help them manage their needs and support them to access services. They also experience greater health inequalities compared to the general population.
Healthcare staff including those in non-clinical roles can access the Caring for People with Learning Disabilities elearning – a free online training programme that aims to reduce preventable causes of ill health, as well as the health inequalities that people with learning disabilities face.
Developed by the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership in collaboration with NHS England, this training comprises four sessions which have been selected as important areas of learning:
- Annual Health Check
- Reasonable Adjustments
We are also pleased to advise that the elearning will soon be available for unpaid carers. We will share further information about this as it becomes available.
You can find out more on the Caring for People with Learning Disabilities training pages on the NHS Learning Hub.
Brick by brick: Resources to support mental health hospital-to-home discharge planning for autistic people and people with a learning disability
NHS England Learning Disability and Autism programme has been working with the Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust (HACT) to develop a flexible set of hospital to home discharge resources, for people with a learning disability and autistic people, intended to be adapted to suit local needs and circumstances.
Local partners in Integrated Care Systems should use these resources to work together to ensure that planning for people’s future housing needs starts from as early as possible after admission to hospital, and is undertaken in a fully joined up way, in close co-production with the person, and any family or loved ones.
The housing how to guide produced by Learning Disability England gives people and their families access to information on rights and choices and will help them plan for what kind of housing is right for them and their family. We encourage you to share this useful resource with people and families you are supporting.
Oliver McGowan (OMG) training
Oliver McGowan’s death shone a light on the need for health and social care staff to have better training. Following a campaign led by Oliver’s mother, Health Education England (HEE), the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and Skills for Care launched The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism e-learning.
The training aims to provide the health and care workforce with the right skills and knowledge to provide safe, compassionate, and informed care to autistic people and people with a learning disability. This requirement is set out in the Health and Care Act 2022 for all CQC regulated service providers. It is important to note that it is training in learning disabilities and autism that is mandated, not specifically the OMG training package. OMG is the Government’s preferred training and CQC has confirmed that they will check that Trusts are delivering LD and Autism training in general, rather than requiring OMG.
This training is for the wider workforce and is a training issue for individual employers who are statutorily accountable. HEE will publish a code of practice later this year that will clarify the expectations for individual organisations and during FY2023/24, the MHLDA programme will support organisations to prepare for the expected requirements of the code of practice.
The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism e-learning is the first part of the OMG training and is now live. Following on from this are live one hour online interactive sessions which are delivered in two Tiers:
Tier 1 - for people who require general awareness of the support autistic people or people with a learning disability may need. This is an online interactive session.
Tier 2 for people who may need to provide care and support for autistic people or people with a learning disability. This is 1 day face-to-face training.
The Tier 1 and 2 elements will be co-delivered with experts with lived experience. Employers will work with partners to find suitable trainers (ie employed within organisations, working with training collaboratives or engaging a training provider).
Our approach to delivery
Some organisations have an existing e-learning offer that they can continue with until they transition over the OMG e-learning. Those who do not have any offer should start to use OMG e-learning.
Each ICS is being asked to build trainer capacity for ‘original trainers’ as part of a cascade and ‘train the trainer’ style approach.
The West Yorkshire OMG working group is looking at what training capacity is required and the approximate number of staff who need to do Tier 1 and Tier 2 training.
Free Learning Disability Awareness training module
The e-learning Learning Disability Awareness Module developed by partners across the West Yorkshire ICS is now available on the NHS Learning Hub. This can be accessed by all organisations, including NHS, VSCE, Social Care and Local Authority. The training is intended for all clinical staff, though any staff working with individuals with a learning disability will find the training useful. This module aims to give you an insight into the needs of people with learning disabilities, providing you with an opportunity to consider what it is like to have a learning disability. It explores the challenges faced by people with a learning disability, introducing you to their health, social and intellectual needs.
Overall the module aims to increase your understanding, confidence and skills when working with people with a learning disability. People with learning disabilities are often faced with health inequalities and access to health services who fail to adequately address their needs. This module aims to readdress this situation, by encouraging you to have the skills and awareness to meet their needs in a truly effective way.
How do I get access?
This training (& other training on The Learning Hub) is FREE for members of Health & Care Workforce across West Yorkshire.
Enter https://learninghub.nhs.uk into the address bar of your browser.
If you already have an eligible e-LfH Hub account, sign in (A) using those details. You can also sign in using your OpenAthens account if you have registered with a NHS England or NHS Scotland provider.
If you do not have an account, you can create one (B). When creating an account you will be asked to enter basic information on your role and place of work.
You will receive an email that includes your username and a link to create a password.
Information on how : Registering for a NHS England OpenAthens account.
The link to the Learning Disabilities Training once registered is Resource details (learninghub.nhs.uk)
Careers and education - Learning Disability Nursing
Learning Disability nursing is a fantastic career choice if you are committed, compassionate and keen to support and work in partnership with individuals of all ages, from children and young people, to the elderly. It’s a wonderfully rewarding profession, focused on helping people with Learning Disabilities maximise their potential, maintain their health and wellbeing, and – crucially – promote an increase their life expectancy.
Watch and listen to what our Partnership Chief Executive Rob Webster says about Learning Disability Nursing.
Learning Disability Nurses work in a variety of settings. Watch as Mick Lambert, Learning Disability Nurse in the West Yorkshire Police Liaison and Diversion service talks about his day. Read more about how Mick works with people with Learning Disabilities who come into contact with the criminal justice system.
Click here to find out more about Learning Disability Nursing.
The National Learning Disability Nursing Forum – click here to find out more
Studying to be a Learning Disability Nurse – click here find out more
Study flexibly to be a Learning Disability Nurse – click here to find out more
Post-graduate study in Learning Disability Nursing - click here to find out more
Study Learning Disability Nursing as an Apprentice – click here to find out more
Post-graduate Learning Disability Nursing as an Apprentice – click here to find out more
What makes a good learning disability nurse? Watch this video to find out more about the skills you need for a successful career in Learning Disability Nursing.
Learning Disability Nursing can lend itself to a wide range of career opportunities. In this video, people with Learning Disability careers talk about how rewarding it is.
There is a variety of placement opportunities available to students undertaking the Nursing (Learning Disability) BSc(Hons) course. This video covers some of them.
What the Nursing (Learning Disability) BSc(Hons) at the University of Huddersfield course involves and what placement opportunities available.
A student talks about her experience of doing the Nursing (Learning Disability) BSc(Hons) course.
Continuing your learning
Skills for Health provides information for professionals that is useful in their work, including the Capabilities Frameworks that describe the skills, knowledge, and behaviours which people bring to their work and are used to:
- support development and planning of the workforce
- inform the design and delivery of education and training programmes