Commenting on the Department for Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) announcement to consult on staff training to improve care and support for people with learning disabilities across health and care services; Andrea Sutcliffe, our Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said:
“The Annual Report of the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review Programme published earlier this year laid bare the wholly unacceptable situation that people with learning disabilities die, on average, 15 to 20 years sooner than people in the general population. Change is overdue and desperately needed as people with learning disabilities and their families have long been telling us.
“The Government’s measures are welcome and the focus on training for health and care staff is vital. We do see lots of great practice in services but more action is required to address the many issues faced by people with learning disabilities as they encounter health, care and support services – including negative, dismissive attitudes; a lack of dignity and respect; and poor understanding of their needs and wishes.
“We will continue to play our part in identifying where improvements are needed in the delivery of good, safe person-centred care as well as holding providers to account to deliver on these improvements. But everyone in health and social care, including commissioners and providers, needs to take seriously their responsibilities to work with people with learning disabilities, their families and carers, so their rights to have a happy, healthy life are properly supported.”