NHS Digital has today published information on the health and care of people with learning disabilities in 2018-19.
Health and Care of People with Learning Disabilities, 2018-191 summarises data relating to 54% of patients in England on key health issues for people recorded by their GP as having a learning disability. It also includes comparative data about patients recorded by their GP as not having a learning disability, to show differences in health and care between the two groups.
For the first time, this publication contains a standardised mortality ratio, comparing mortality for those with a learning disability against those without.
The publication also covers:
- prevalence of learning disabilities
- learning disability health checks
- life expectancy
- cancer screening
Statistics about the prevalence of various health conditions, such as epilepsy and heart disease, are also included.
The report also states that, ‘Based on 2018-19 data, males with a learning disability have a life expectancy at birth of 66 years. This is 14 years lower than for males in the general population.’ For females, the report found that those with a learning disability have a life expectancy of 67 years, 17 years lower than females without a learning disability.
The report adds, ‘There has been no statistically significant change in life expectancy for patients with a learning disability between 2014-15 and 2018-19.’
Health and Care of People with Learning Disabilities 2018-19 also revealed that epilepsy was 26 times more common in people with a learning disability than would be expected for an equivalent cohort of those without a learning disability. The prevalence rates for asthma, hypertension and non type I diabetes have all also seen a significant increase since the 2017-18 data was collected.
Responding to the report, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said, ‘People with learning disabilities should have the same standard of health care as everybody else, yet they often face poorer health outcomes and shorter life-spans. To increase transparency, we have asked NHS England to routinely publish local performance data on the services for people with learning disabilities.
‘We are also taking action to address recommendations set out in the third Learning Disabilities Mortality Review and will be publish our formal response in the coming weeks.’