DHSC responds to mortality review with staff training measures

The Government will consult on training proposals for health and care staff so people with learning disabilities can receive better support at home and in hospital.

Measures will aim to address the inequality in life expectancy between people with learning disabilities and the wider population.

NHS Digital statistics show that females with learning disabilities have around an 18-year shorter life expectancy than the general population, while for males it is 14 years.

The consultation is in response to the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review programme, which was published in May. The review found there was a lack of awareness when it came to the needs of people with learning disabilities.

Commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership on behalf of NHS England, it also found that collaboration and information sharing among care providers and agencies needed to be strengthened.

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) will consult on plans with people who have experience of learning disabilities, the wider sector, NHS and social care providers and the public.

Health Education England will also develop an awareness training package for staff.

Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage (pictured) said: ‘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.’

DHSC will also share findings from a social worker pilot, which explored how one-to-one support for people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health needs can help people to achieve better outcomes, and undertake a long-term study on the impact of integrated community support for people with complex needs.