NHS England to invest in building the right support for people with a learning disability

Patients with a learning disability, autism or both are set to benefit from over £10 million investment by NHS England to help them lead more independent lives, closer to their friends and family.

The funding will support fourteen local Transforming Care Partnerships – made up of NHS organisations, local authorities and NHS England commissioners, working closely with people who use services, their families and providers – to develop new, high-quality, community services for people in their area.

These include:

  • In Bradford, intensive support for children showing challenging behaviour in an effort to avoid the need for residential schooling;
  • In the South of England, action to help people move from long-term inpatient care into more appropriate facilities in their own communities, and;
  • In Berkshire, funding for a multi-disciplinary community service to support people, helping to speed up the closure of an inpatient unit.

Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England and Chair of the Transforming Care Delivery Board, said: “Local health and social care leaders continue to make good progress in developing and implementing their plans to provide the kind of joined-up, responsive services needed by people with a learning disability, autism or both.

“Thanks to efforts so far, we’ve already seen an 13% fall in the number of people inappropriately in inpatient settings across England – people who instead are now able to get better more personal home-based support.

“This next wave of funding will see even more people and families benefit, and we will continue to back the most ambitious and credible plans from local areas over the next two years.”

Today’s funding announcement is the latest tranche of up to £40 million being invested by the cross-system Transforming Care programme over 2015/16 – 2018/19. The programme has seen a number of reforms including the roll out of Care and Treatment Reviews – meaning that, on average, more than 240 people with a learning disability have their needs and progress reviewed every month, leading to many being discharged to more appropriate community-based settings.

It comes on top of £20m of transformation funding which has already been allocated over the last two years, meaning local areas have already been developing their schemes. Examples include local community crisis teams offering personalised home treatment and joined-up approaches to – among other things – bring patients who have been placed in care outside of their region back to their own communities.

In England, around 24,000 people who have a learning disability and/or autism are classed as being at risk of admission. 2,520 people were in inpatient settings as of 28th February 2017 according to the latest official figures – down from 2,850 in March 2015 – which continue to demonstrate a reduction in the number of in-patients.

48 Transforming Care Partnerships are tasked with improving services in way that reflects the wishes and circumstances of local residents. NHS England is also making available up to £20 million of capital funding per year to support Transforming Care project.

The full list of funding is detailed below:

Approved TCPs/schemes 2017/18
Cheshire & Merseyside 324 262 586
Lancashire 400 400 800
Bradford 60 60 120
Arden 486 173 659
Nottinghamshire 440 235 675
Norfolk 78 78 156
Cambridge & Peterborough 226 110 336
Essex 285 160 445
Shropshire & Staffordshire 212 120 332
Derbyshire 120 80 200
South East London 160 160 320
Inner North East London 65 65 130
Berkshire 255 256 511
Bristol, BANE & S Gloucs 171 57 228
Pan South region 500 500 1000
Transformation at the former Calderstones hospital site 2000 2000 4000
National 5782 4716 10498