Learning disability and autism projects

The Five Year Forward View set out a clear vision, setting out the particular contribution that the NHS and others can make to the health of our nation, and the transformation required to meet the changing needs of current and future patients.

The NHS has developed a Long Term Plan to set out what the priorities are over the next ten years and learning disability and autism are included in this. The plan is about making a difference throughout people’s lives, starting with a stronger focus on children and young people with the most complex of needs. Our ambitions are that across the whole NHS and wider society, we do more to ensure that all people with a learning disability, autism, or both can live happier, healthier, longer lives.

The Patient Experience Team, via its process of inclusion and co research and design, will continue to engage people with learning disabilities and will build ownership and credibility into the programme of activity to ensure programmes of work that are valid to a range of people with a learning disability across key areas of NHS provision. This directly supports the work of the Learning Disability Programme Board and Transforming Care mandate commitment.

The current projects within the Patient Experience Team are outlined below. If you would like further information on any of them please contact ENGLAND.PEAdmin@nhs.uk.

NHS Quality Checking

Quality checking sees people with a learning disability employed to look at the quality of the services they use and tell us how we can make them better. It also looks at how NHS staff work with people with a learning disability.

It is important because some people can find it hard to use NHS services. This may be because of complicated forms, words or confusing buildings.

This means that some people are not having important health checks like the annual health check or cancer screening.

What do quality checkers do?

Quality checkers go into NHS services, or other services that the NHS pays for, and look at how they are working and how people use them.

Then the quality checkers tell the service what they can do to make things better and work with services to improve.

Lots of organisations already do quality checking. NHS England has developed a process to make these checks the same in NHS services across England. This involved:

  • Co-producing a number of toolkits in easy reads for Quality Checkers to use in NHS services.
  • The development of a training course for would be NHS Quality Checkers to learn how to use the toolkits and carry out quality checks in health services.

Which services will be quality checked?

We have worked with people with a learning disability their family and carers and some local voluntary groups and services to develop toolkits which can be used in the following services:

  • GP services
  • Hospitals
  • Accident and Emergency
  • Community services
  • Dental practices
  • Mental health in-patient services
  • Assessment and Treatment Units for people with a learning disability

Each toolkit is made up of:

The Introduction, guide to visiting the service and feedback and recommendation report are the same for all the toolkits in this series. The self-assessment questionnaire is specific to each service area.

To support the NHS Quality Checker toolkits we have developed a series of patient surveys for NHS Quality Checkers to use with people with a learning disability who use the services they are quality checking.

How do I find a Quality Checking group?

NHS England has worked closely with the Association of Quality Checkers (AQCs) who were commissioned to develop and deliver the training for NHS Quality Checkers. Find more information here about a Quality Checking group near you or the training course.

Information for service providers and commissioners

Quality checking services can help support providers, clinical commissioning groups and sustainability and transformation partnerships to improve services for people with a learning disability.

NHS Quality Checkers can:

  • Inform a service how well it is caring for people with a learning disability using a friendly and supportive approach.
  • Support the reduction of health inequalities among patients with a learning disability.
  • Promote improvements in patient experience.
  • Provide services with suggested improvements to consider.
  • Be a catalyst to improving the quality of services for patients with a learning disability which will,
  • Lead to a reduction in preventable ill health and improved health and wellbeing for patients.
  • Reduce avoidable admissions to hospital.
  • Show examples of good practice for sharing across the NHS.

For more information about the NHS Quality Checking programme please email england.improvinghealthquality@nhs.net

Always Events®

Always Events® first started in America and are now being used to look at NHS services in England and make sure people using them have a really good experience of the care they receive

They look at what is really important to patients, their families and carers when they use health services and what should be done for all patients every time.

We have recently started working with people with a learning disability, autism or both to look at how Always Events® can help make sure care is focused on what really matters to them.

For more information please visit the Always Events® page or download this easy read leaflet.

If you would like to find out how to get involved and what support is available please email ENGLAND.PEAdmin@nhs.net