News story

Consultation announced to improve learning disabilities staff training

The government has announced a series of measures to address the inequality of life expectancy between people with learning disabilities and the wider population.

Three nurses walking away down a hospital corridor

The Department of Health and Social Care will seek views on its plans to expand awareness training for health and care staff who work with people with learning disabilities.

The proposed training could cover:

  • relevant legislation
  • making adjustments to the way care is provided
  • how to provide care that helps people reach their full potential

The consultation will ask for views from people who have experience of learning disabilities, NHS and social care providers and the general public.

The government announced the consultation as part of a series of measures in response to a report from the first national mortality review of learning disability published in May 2018, known as the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) Programme.

The measures recognise a need for better awareness among health and care staff about making reasonable adjustments to the way that care or information is provided to people with learning disabilities.

Other measures announced include:

  • sharing the learning from the named social worker pilot, which explored one-to-one support for people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health needs
  • plans for a long-term study of the impact of integrated community support for people with learning disabilities
  • testing and developing a quality-of-life standard for people with learning disabilities that can be used to measure the effectiveness of support

Minister for Care, Caroline Dinenage, said:

Every person with a learning disability must receive the same high-quality care you and I would expect. For too long many people with learning disabilities have had their lives tragically cut short, in part because of a lack of understanding about their needs. This must end.

We will consult on expanding learning disability awareness training so that health and care staff are better equipped to provide compassionate and informed care. Support will be improved to help enhance the lives of people with learning disabilities across the country – anything less is unacceptable.

Published 12 September 2018