Working together to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities - our Learning Disabilities Challenge
Our Partnership has 10 Big Ambitions and one of those is to reduce the gap in life expectancy for autistic and other neurodiverse people, people with learning disabilities and people with mental health conditions by 10% by 2024. Achieving this ambition will make life better for more than 200 000 people living in West Yorkshire.
We want everyone with a learning disability who lives in West Yorkshire to have the same opportunities as everyone else. We want people to live long and healthy lives and be treated with dignity and respect. We think it is important for people to have good relationships with others. We want everyone to have a place they call home in their community.
You can find out more about out work with Autistic people and our Autism Deep Dive on this page of our website.
Nationally, there has been an increase in the number of children and young people with a learning disability being identified within mental health hospital trusts. Across West Yorkshire we have seen a similar increase in children and young people with a learning disability and / or autism entering specialist mental hospital services.
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 Challenge is the programme that will drive this aim. You can read a news release about our aims here.
Our objectives – how we will know that we have improved health and wellbeing for people with learning disabilities:
- People with learning disabilities who live in West Yorkshire will live longer, healthier lives.
- People with learning disabilities will have better patient experiences and better outcomes.
- Our health and care services will be regarded as an example of best practice in how it promotes the health needs of people with learning disabilities.
Our mandate – what we will do
Voluntary and Community Social Enterprises (VCSE), social care, Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and Acute Trusts will take a lead role in ensuring people with learning disabilities are reached out to and supported to take up their annual health checks and screening checks.
We will involve families in developing, sourcing and delivering training and awareness-raising, to ensure all services can support people with learning disabilities well.
We will involve our active VCSE sector and people with lived experience to shape and support our delivery plan. Our communication plan will promote the contributions people with learning disabilities give to their communities. We work with our Learning Disability Health and Care Champions to make sure that their knowledge and experience is used as our Programmes develop their services and projects. You can find out more about the work of the Champions on their page.
We will have trusted and robust data relating to people with learning disabilities, from all service areas within our health and care system.
Start well - supporting Children and Young People with Learning disabilities and / or Autism
You can find resources for children, young people, their parents, carers and the professionals who look after them on our Start Well page.
Living well with Learning Disabilities
We have collected resources from across our West Yorkshire Partnership that are useful for people with Learning Disabilities on our Live Well page.
Ageing well with Learning Disabilities
Older people with Learning Disabilities have particular needs. We have some resources that reflect those needs on our Age Well page.
Working with people with Learning Disabilities
Working with people with Learning Disabilities is a rewarding and varied career. Amanda McKie, Consultant Nurse for Learning Disabilities at Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust has shared her years of experience of working with people who have learning disabilities and how it has changed her life. Read Amanda’s blog.
The Learning Disability Mortality Review (LeDeR) - Learning from Lives and Deaths
The health inequalities faced by people with learning disabilities in the UK start early in life and stem from barriers to accessing appropriate and effective health care and are therefore, to an extent, avoidable.
The Learning Disability Mortality Review (LeDeR) programme has highlighted that people with a learning disability still die much younger than the rest of the population (on average 20 years) and are three times more likely to die from causes that could have been avoided. Learning disability is not, of itself, the reason for this inequality; instead it is a result of services not meeting people’s needs. For people with a learning disability it can be difficult to stay well and get help when it is needed. You can find out more about this here. You can read the 2021 report in EasyRead format here.
West Yorkshire teams completed more than 30% of Annual Health Checks (AHCs) in the period April to August 2022 - the highest percentage in the NHS North East and Yorkshire region. AHCs are an important part of our Learning Disabilities Challenge work.
Our West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board LeDeR annual report for 2022-23 is now available to read and download here.
LeDeR Resource Bank
Around 50% of deaths of people with a learning disability are avoidable. The NHS and our partners are working hard to change this. The LedeR Resource Bank contains materials to address some of the main causes of early death for people with a learning disability.
This resource bank may be of use to health and care professionals supporting people with a learning disability or people who are autistic with their health or care.
Learning Disabilities Standards
Across all of our places in West Yorkshire we have higher numbers of adults with a learning disability receiving long-term support from Local Authorities compared to the rest of England. We want to make access to healthcare easier and one of the ways we are working to improve the experience of care for people with learning disabilities is through the national Learning Disability Improvement Standards. First published in 2018, the Standards guide hospital Trusts in how to support and respect people with learning disabilities. All Trusts in West Yorkshire are expected to publish performance against the Standards on an annual basis. Our Learning Disabilities Improvement Standards project will support Trusts to work collaboratively to meet the requirements of the Standards by the end of this year, 2023 / 2024.
Included in the requirements is that all care providers consider as part of their digital strategy how they will apply a digital flag to identify service users who have a learning disability and / or autism. This will help people arriving for care to have their needs recognised and met from the beginning of their treatment journey.
You can find out more about the national Learning Disability Improvement Standards here.
This work is carried out through the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Programme and is championed by the leadership team because of its importance across all of our services.
The Health and Care Act 2022
In England a lot of money is spent on the NHS every year. It needs good planning to spend the money well and make sure everyone gets the best health services possible.
The law has changed how we plan and pay for services. Planning and paying for services is called commissioning. We want the planning of your health services to be done near you, by people who know your local area well. We also want different services to work together more so it’s easier to get the services you need. This includes social care and voluntary services, like charities. Health services will still be free to you. It is important to know about these changes, to help you get involved in your local area, if you want to.
You can find out more about these changes by reading this document. If you need this information in an alternative format, contact engage