Celebrating Learning Disability Week and the Transforming Care Programme

An event on Monday for clinicians and commissioners from across the South region marked Learning Disability Week 2016, with a focus on how services are being transformed for those with a learning disability and/or autism.

Around 80 people attended the event, representing NHS organisations and local authority social care, to discuss how the Transforming Care Programme is being implemented.

The Transforming Care Programme is a priority area for NHS England South, through which it will reshape local services to improve patient care.  It will focus on strengthening individuals’ rights, roll out the delivery of regular Care and Treatment Reviews, reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and lengthy hospital stays by better provision of more support closer to home, in the community not hospital.

Under the programme, across the South region there are now 14 local Transforming Care Partnerships (TCPs) – partnering local authority social care with the health sector.  Each area is developing its own plan on how it will transform services for its local population.

The event provided an opportunity to share experiences, challenges faced and the ways by which they can be overcome.

A highlight of the day was a production by MixIt, a theatre company made up of actors who have a learning disability, bringing to life the experience of those admitted to an Assessment and Treatment Unit hospital.  Through song, dance and video, the production explored the lives of those living in hospital, their needs and how a Care and Treatment Review can help them to move back home, to live a more fulfilling life.

Jill Crook, Transforming Care Programme lead, NHS England (South) said:  “Today’s event was a great opportunity to share ideas and to network, helping us all to make progress as we work to develop individual Transforming Care Plans. These will radically improve the way we care for those with learning disabilities and/or autism.

MixIt’s production was an extremely moving and powerful way of reminding us that a person’s care has to be tailored to their needs, must provide choice and a range of options, helping to keep people out of hospital and close to home wherever possible.”

The 14 Transforming Care Partnerships are working toward publishing the first iterations of their plans in early July.

More information on the national Transforming Care Programme can be found on the NHS England website.