Hazel Watson, NHS England’s Head Nurse for Learning Disability, tells Katie Matthews about the transforming care programme to improve services for people with a learning disability and/or autism, who display behaviour that challenges, including those with a mental health condition.
NHS England is committed to making sure that people with a learning disability and/or autism who display behaviour that challenges, including those with a mental health condition, receive the right care in the right settings, with the right support.
We are working, along with our partners, to deliver the three year national plan (Building the Right Support) to transform care for people with a learning disability. This plan is about enabling people to live more independent lives, closer to home, with more say about the support they receive. This is as much about improving quality of life as quality of care.
Work is ongoing with the 48 Transforming Care Partnerships (TCPs) who are delivering this ambition, to review their local plans. To do this properly we need to involve the people and communities whose lives the plans are about.
On average people with a learning disability have poorer physical and mental health and a lower life expectancy. We urgently need to understand and reduce these inequalities and we are working in a number of areas to do so:
- the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review programme to roll out local reviews of deaths of people with a learning disability, to understand and reduce the causes;
- reducing over-medication of people with a learning disability;
- care and treatment reviews play a crucial part in making sure people’s needs are met in the best, most suitable environment and that community services can provide this, tailored to individual needs;
- increasing the take-up of annual health check schemes.
Our learning disabilities programme aims to transform the lives of the whole population of people with a learning disability, not just those receiving treatment.