Learning disabilities projects

The Five Year Forward View sets 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 Patient Experience Team, via its process of inclusion and co research and design, will engage people with learning disabilities from the start 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 Sarah Wright, Improvement Support Manager.

NHS Quality Checking

Quality checking means that people with a learning disability, autism or both are employed to help us look at the quality of the services they use and tell us how we can make them better.

Why is it important?

It is important because some people can find it hard to use NHS services because of complicated forms, words or confusing buildings. Quality checking also looks at how NHS staff work with people with a learning disability, autism or both.

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 is developing toolkits to make these checks the same all across England.

Which services will be quality checked?

We have worked with people with a learning disability, autism or both and some local voluntary groups to develop some draft toolkits which can be used in these NHS services:

  • GP services
  • Dentistry
  • Community services such as podiatry clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Accident and emergency
  • Mental health services

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, autism or both.

People with a learning disability are four times more likely to die of preventable causes compared with the general population (Disability Rights Commission, 2006).

By improving the quality and accessibility of services we believe it will in turn help to improve people’s health and reduce avoidable morbidity.

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

What will happen next?

The draft toolkits have been co-produced with people with a learning disability, autism or both and include health issues that are important to them. Most of the toolkits have been tested in some NHS services, but we want to gain the views of people who work in the services, commissioners and others who are interested in this work. The draft toolkits and a feedback form can be found here. We would welcome your views up to the closing date of 1 December 2017.