Learning Disability

Health written question – answered on 8th September 2014.

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Photo of Richard Fuller Richard Fuller Conservative, Bedford

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) what steps he is taking to reduce premature deaths among people with learning disabilities;

(2) what meetings he has had with external agencies on reducing premature mortality of people with learning disabilities since April 2013; and what progress he has made on reducing such premature mortality;

(3) what steps he is taking to ensure that the examples of good practice detailed in the report Making Reasonable Adjustments to Primary Care Services -Supporting the Implementation of Annual Health Checks for people with learning disabilities, published in March 2014, are being implemented across the NHS.

Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb The Minister of State, Department of Health

In July 2013, the Government set out its response to the recommendations made in the Confidential Inquiry into premature deaths of people with learning disabilities which set out actions to reduce premature mortality among people with learning disabilities. Progress is monitored by the Learning Disability Programme Board (LDPB), which I chair. The board meets three times a year and includes membership from stakeholders and external agencies. An update report was presented to the LDPB on 17 July which will be published online shortly.

NHS England is currently looking at how it can improve the uptake of annual health checks for people with learning disabilities and it has included this as a key objective in its Learning Disability Programme. The Learning Disabilities Public Health Observatory is working with NHS England to ensure the implementation plan is as robust as possible. This work will include examples of good practice from areas where uptake for health checks is high, and how to replicate these successes throughout the National Health Service.

NHS England is also planning a workshop later this year to bring together key stakeholders, for example, Royal Colleges, Academic Health Science Networks, Primary Care, Strategic Clinical Networks and people with learning disabilities to discuss how quality of care and outcomes can be improved.

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