Learning Disability

Department of Health written question – answered on 7th January 2016.

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Photo of Baroness Hollins Baroness Hollins Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the remit and funding of the National Learning Disabilities Mortality Review of premature deaths in people with learning disabilities includes a review of the investigations carried out by NHS Trusts into unexpected deaths for that patient group; and if not whether they intend to alter the remit.

Photo of Lord Prior of Brampton Lord Prior of Brampton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health

The Learning Disabilities Mortality Review Programme is managed by the University of Bristol on behalf of NHS England. The contract with the University focusses on supporting local reviews of premature deaths of people with learning disabilities; the investigation processes and draws together learning from the reviews. The remit for this work does not include a review of the investigations undertaken by NHS trusts into unexpected deaths for this patient group. There is no current intention to alter this remit.

The current programme is piloting local reviews of premature deaths of people with learning disabilities, as the first stage of rolling these out across England by 2018. These reviews will be the key first step to ensure local processes are in place to inform the co-ordination of future investigations of premature deaths of people with learning disabilities by NHS trusts. There will be clear protocols put in place to ensure that any unexpected deaths are subject to a multidisciplinary review, covering the totality of the person's care, to assess the causes of death and any actions which could have been taken to prevent that death.

The Mortality Review Programme will provide strategic support for the local review process, develop a core data set for use by local review teams and support both the development of action plans in response to a death and the identification of recurrent themes at local, regional and national levels. The case reviews will support health and social care professionals, and others, to identify, and take action on, the avoidable contributory factors leading to premature deaths by people with learning disabilities whilst the identification of regional and national themes will inform wider action.

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