£5m to improve care for people with a learning disability

The NHS has announced that an additional £5 million will fund reviews to improve care for people with a learning disability and committed to renewed national action to tackle serious conditions.

Following an announcement from Health Secretary Matt Hancock, NHS England has revealed that the world’s first programme to review the deaths of everyone with a learning disability is being expanded to speed up the spread of best practice. This means that thousands more reviews will be carried out over the next 12 months, driving local improvements to help save and improve lives.

Among increased efforts, the health service will focus efforts on increasing the uptake of the flu vaccine among people with a learning disability, commission an independent review into the deaths of people with a learning disability due to respiratory conditions, launch a national campaign to promote awareness around the risk of constipation including how it can be prevented, recognised and treated to better support families, carers and staff who work with people with a learning disability, as well as look into the treatment of and awareness of sepsis and deterioration.

Ray James, national director for learning disabilities at NHS England & NHS Improvement, said: “Significant progress has been made over the last year and the renewed commitment today will ensure we continue to drive important learning and ensure widespread improvements in the care and treatment of people with a learning disability.

“The NHS is taking action to tackle major conditions among people with a learning disability including sepsis, respiratory conditions and cancer, while the NHS Long Term Plan sets out further action to support people with a learning disability and autism to live happier, healthier and more independent lives. I want to pay tribute to the contribution that many bereaved families have made to this important work, their courage, constructive challenge and willingness to share their experiences for the benefit of others has helped the NHS locally and nationally to improve care and save lives.”

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