Building the right support starts now – Dr Julie Higgins

In the second of a regular series of updates on NHS England’s work to transform care for people with a learning disability, NHS England’s Director of Transformation – Learning Disabilities, marks the beginning of work in every part of the country to achieve this ambition:

We have seen significant increases in the number of people both being discharged from hospital and/or having their care and treatment reviewed in the last year.

We discharged 1,422 patients home between April 2015 and March 2016, up from 1,093 the previous year.

A total of 3,600 care and treatment reviews (CTRs) have now taken place, and 1,900 people have been discharged or transferred since the start of April 2015 – two thirds of them to community settings.

And because of that, the number of people with a learning disability who are in hospital has fallen; according to the latest statistics out today, there were 2,615 people in hospital at the end of last month, compared with 2,795 last March – 180 fewer.

But progress up to now hasn’t been quick enough. Too many people are still spending too long in assessment and treatment units and in specialist wards – not because they need or want to be there, but because the support and services they need aren’t available in their community.

That’s why this month is such an important one, because it sees the start of work across the country to make that support available for many more people.

Read Julie’s blog in full on our learning disabilities section.

Occasionally we invite guest bloggers to write posts for NHS England. Those posts are marked as authored by “Guest blogs”.

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  1. Katie Clarke says:

    Having worked across the country for many years and having listened to the stories of literally thousands of parents of disabled children the priority for them is their own inner strength, confidence and happiness. Many are on at some point in their lives anti-depressants. Their physical and mental health suffers and their strength to carry on and parent children with very complex deteriorates. Many have experienced trauma (seriously ill children, children with behaviour that challenges, death of a child, divorce, poverty, the list is endless). To continue on their journey – to get the best for their loved one, to liaise with dozens of services and co-ordinate umpteen appointments, fill in numerous forms takes a great deal of confidence and empowerment. The better the family/parent feels about themselves the better the child feels and those professionals working with the family. It is not rocket science.
    Please include this in the Transforming Care – it is more than advocacy and information – far more. If you want this to work go back to the basics and look at the heart of the problem. Ask yourselves what do families really want? The answer is To Be Happy and Healthy (mentally and physically).