Transforming Care for people with Learning Disabilities
Transforming Care is about the Government and health and social care organisations working together to make care better for people with learning disabilites, especially if they have mental ill health too.
In line with NHS England’s Transforming Care Programmes, we are looking at how best we can provide and deliver community services, including homes and housing, support and care so people can live the life they chose with the support they need. In order to do this we are working together with our three Transforming Care programmes with the aim to support people with learning disabilities as close to home as possible and to keep them well and out of hospital.
- You can read the government's national plan, Building the Right Support, here
- Guidance for commissioners (the people who plan and pay for care services)
If and when somebody does need an admission for specialist hospital care (such as assessment and treatment) we will work to ensure that specialist staff are available and that people are not in hospital any longer than they need to be. Together we will be looking at how we can work across organisational and geographical boundaries in relation to assessment, treatment unit services. We have engaged with people who access care and who are currently receiving support in an assessment and treatment centre (ATU), their families/carers and staff and also people with previous lived experience of an assessment and treatment centre and their families/carers.
The Partnership, together with an organisation called Change, ran a workshop to look at learning disabilities and health inequalities, and at solutions to make things better. You can read the report from that workshop here.
Things are changing in the NHS in England
The Government is making some changes to the way the NHS works. The changes will be in a planned new law called the Health and Care Act 2022. It will come out in July 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 will change 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Link to an easy read version of this briefing.
Working together to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities
Our Partnership has 10 Big Ambitions and one of those is to reduce the gap in life expectancy for autistic 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.
Our specialist teams working in each of our Places - Leeds, Wakefield, Kirklees, Calderdale and Bradford District and Craven - have created an extensive range of resources for use by fellow professionals in their work supporting people with Learning Disabilities, and our Learning Disabilities Health and Care Champions have also provided us with resources on topics including healthy living, cancer screening, diabetes and much more.
The e-learning Learning Disability Awareness Module developed by partners across the West Yorkshire ICS is now available on the NHS Learning Hub. This training aims to give an insight into the needs of people with learning disabilities, providing 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 people to their health, social and intellectual needs. If you work in the NHS, VSCE, Social Care or Local Authority in West Yorkshire, you can access the training, FREE. You can find out more about how to take the training on our resources page.
Our Learning Disabilities Challenge
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.
Nationally, there has been an increase in the number of children and young people with a learning disability being identified within mental hospitals. 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 and Harrogate 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 will have trusted and robust data relating to people with learning disabilities, from all service areas within our health and care system.
Supporting Children and Young People with Learning disabilities and / or Autism
Barnardo’s West Yorkshire Keyworker Service Model of Delivery and information for partners.
The NHS England & NHS Improvement Long Term Plan and vision is that by 2023/24, children and young people with a learning disability, autism or both with the most complex needs will have a designated Keyworker, implementing the recommendation made by Dame Christine Lenehan in her review “These are our children”.
Initially, keyworker support will be provided to children and young people who are inpatients or at risk of being admitted to hospital. Key worker support will also be extended to the most vulnerable children with a learning disability and/or autism, including those who face multiple vulnerabilities such as looked after and adopted children, and children and young people in transition between services. (Paragraph 3.33, Long Term Plan)
The initial phase of this work 2021-2023 is focussed on “children and young people who are inpatients or at risk of being admitted to hospital”.
The Keyworker Service aims to:
- work as part of a multi-agency approach and offer specific support and coordination over and beyond what may be provided by Multi-Disciplinary Teams
- help the family understand the child/young person’s needs and navigate their journey through the system
- ensure the child, young person and their family are at the centre of any planning and discussions
- ensure good communication is in place
- advocate, support, challenge and influence problem-solving to pull a strong coordinated personalised package of care together
- support the provision and implementation of a tailored holistic package of support to help the child or young person and their family
- be enablers, navigators, facilitators, identifiers of gaps and opportunities
- identify, guide and refer to other services where needed e.g. carer support services, Mental Health Services, short breaks provision etc.
- facilitate effective communication between the child/young person, the family and the practitioners
- champion the child/young person and their family in discussions around provision of care as required
- link in with parent/ carer forums to update them on programme and link them in with co-production plans and opportunities support the maintenance of young people in their own home and prevent escalation of need, wherever possible
- work collaboratively to prevent admissions to in-patient care through preventing placement breakdown.
Other documents in the information pack are:
Learning Disabilities Standards
Across all of our places in West Yorkshire and Harrogate 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 and Harrogate 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 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 and Harrogate 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.