A new two person team is to be appointed to help people with learning disabilities co-design and transform services as part of NHS England’s Transforming Care programme.
Jane Cummings, Chief Nurse at NHS England, announced at last week’s Board Meeting that someone with a learning disability will be recruited in a full time role alongside another full time member of staff to work in a co-worker model and inform and engage with people with learning difficulties.
The two Learning Disability Network Officers will be appointed and work together to develop a strong and influential network. They will ensure people with a learning disability have a strong voice, can influence the work of the organisation and play a powerful role in shaping services.
Mrs Cummings said: “We want to deliver the ambition to move as many people as possible into community settings with the support they need. We have to systematically remove the blocks which are stopping that from happening.
“We want to enable people with learning disabilities to have the same rights as everyone else. Many want to work and have the chance to live a normal life – not be put in an inpatient setting. It’s not what they want and it’s not what they deserve.”
It is expected both posts will be advertised before Christmas to begin early in the New Year.
NHS England is committed to developing an application process and work environment that is accessible, supportive and inclusive for all its employees and is working with partners with relevant expertise to support this process.
The appointments come as part of a larger piece of work around Transforming Care for people with a learning disability. Part of the programme is to move any patients with a learning disability who are in an inpatient setting inappropriately back into the community.
Since the last Board meeting NHS England has started to track those patients who were in hospital in April this year and identify those who could be discharged if appropriate services are provided in different settings.