Learning disability care is high on the Expo agenda

Transforming Care for people with a learning disability, autism or both remains high on NHS England’s priorities, and I’m looking forward to exploring how far we’ve come on that journey at this year’s Health and Care Innovation Expo 2017

If you have an interest and a role in improving learning disability care, I encourage you to join us at Expo for the sessions which reinforce our work.

It’s a chance for you to learn what’s possible from the people who have made it happen. To me that’s an absolutely key part of our success – hearing what made a difference, and aiming as high as possible for the people and families who deserve our best efforts to succeed.

Jane Cummings kick starts day two of Expo with a keynote speech on learning disability and mental health nurse leadership. This type of nursing is as much about keeping people well and treated fairly, as helping them to get better.

Jane has passionately enforced that making sure people with a learning disability get the best possible care and quality of life, is everyone’s responsibility.

It’s an exciting time for nurses to be ambassadors for local transformation, and in this session we’ll hear examples from a panel of experts across acute and community based settings to inspire others to be brave about making life-changing improvements.

On the same day, 12 September, you can hear about the national roll out of the Learning Disability Mortality Review (LeDeR) which NHS England has funded. It’s the first review of its kind in the world.

This session will explore the relationship between the  Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) programme and the Learning from Deaths Framework, published by the National Quality Board in March 2017. It will draw on extracts from completed LeDeR mortality reviews to enable participants to think about how they would apply learning from these to achieve improvements in quality of care and support for people with learning disabilities.

It will conclude with a Q&A session with colleagues from NHS England, NHS Improvement and  the LeDeR Team at the University of Bristol to give people the chance to ask about the implementation of Learning from Deaths and the LeDeR programme, and to share experiences.

Also on that morning we are really fortunate to be joined at Expo by the Community Assessment and Treatment team from Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, to hear about the how their Specialist Learning Disability Services moved from an Inpatient Model to Community Assessment and Treatment.

This is at the heart of what Transforming Care is about and what needs to happen – embracing new ways of working; being brave about closing beds and reducing admissions; and investing in community services to support people in their own home.

On Tuesday afternoon, we will hear from colleagues at Lancashire Care and the Patient Experience Team here at NHS England, about co-producing quality improvement with people who use services to deliver what matters to them (Always Events®)

The focus is on co-production to understand what really matters to people who use services and their families and carers, by shifting from just asking “What’s the matter?” to asking “What matters to you?”

Lancashire Care were one of the first organisations to pilot Always Events with a group of service users who are supported by one of their community learning disability teams.  They have rolled this out and many other teams are now co-designing Always Events with their patients, service users, families and carers.

I hope to see many of you there. We have much to celebrate and share across our achievements for people with a learning disability, autism or both and their families. Our sessions at Expo will be an opportunity to learn from what’s working, as well as where challenges are being overcome.

The more we share our experiences, the more we’ll strengthen our efforts.

Dr Julie Higgins

Julie has held a number of NHS positions including Chief Executive, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Public Health in PCTs; she led the development of CCGs in Greater Manchester. She has been the Regional Director of Commissioning in NHS England as well as and has been SRO for large scale hospital reconfigurations following hospital merger to improve child and maternity services. Julie was Vice Chair of the Greater Manchester Public Health Network which carried out a number of ground breaking public health initiatives including the development of the Greater Manchester Health Commission.

Before joining the NHS, Julie worked at London University in the field of immunology after gaining her PhD. Julie is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health. She has a strong commitment to reducing health inequalities and alongside her working life has undertaken voluntary work with Youth Offending Teams.

In her Current role as Director of Transformation/SRO Learning Disabilities she is leading on:- Reducing health inequalities and improving health outcomes for people with Learning Disabilities; Improving services and reducing reliance on hospital beds, for people with learning disabilities and/or autism with mental health issues and/or behaviours that challenge.

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  1. Jos says:

    There needs to be more support for adults with late diagnosis of ASD/Aspergers. This usually comes about due to mental health issues such as severe anxiety/depression. Once diagnosed no one in mental health believe that therapy will help people with ASD diagnosis and very unwell people with ASD are then left to fend for themselves. About time CMHTs did something about this instead of rejecting referrals