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NHS England has asked Sir Stephen Bubb, the Chief Executive of charity leaders network ACEVO, to head a new group of experts and advisors to develop a national guide for how we provide health and care for those with learning disabilities. The group will also include healthcare, charity and voluntary sectors, as well as with people with learning disabilities and their families. It aims to design more innovative and integrated local commissioning of healthcare and housing to best support people with learning disabilities at home and in their communities, reducing reliance on hospital care.
Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for NHS England, said: “People with learning disabilities, autism or challenging behaviour, often have complex health needs and it is vital that they have health and care support in their homes and communities.
“Too often we see people being admitted to an inpatient setting and staying for long periods of time purely because this support is lacking. This is not good for patients and through the Winterbourne Joint Improvement Programme, we are addressing this by ensuring local areas improve their discharge and care planning arrangements.
“But many areas need wider service redesign, greater integration and longer-term, sustainable solutions. We are seeing more co-commissioning with local authorities but this needs to be expanded and accelerated. We need to ensure that funding follows the individual. The new group will drive this, drawing on essential expertise from the third sector and importantly from patients and carers. I am pleased that we have the experience and expertise of Sir Stephen Bubb to lead this process.”
Commenting on the launch of the group, Sir Stephen Bubb, CEO of ACEVO said: “The Government made a brave pledge to improve the quality of care for people with learning disabilities in the Winterbourne View Concordat. While I am delighted that Simon Stevens has asked me to help create a plan to support the Government meet that pledge, I am also determined to bring the experience and strength of the third sector to help transform care for people with learning disabilities.
“Co-commissioning with charities and social enterprises in this way is unprecedented in the NHS and offers new solutions to these problems. I believe that the third sector will bring the innovation required to create a sustainable ‘national framework, locally delivered’.”
The key objectives of the group are to:
- develop models for local implementation that meet the needs of people with learning disabilities and autism
- develop funding models for new services
- identify potential sources of social investment
- identify the best way for funding to meet individual needs
- seek input and guidance from partners working in this field.
The group will provide a final report by the end of October 2014 to inform commissioning.