Improving the Lives of People with Learning Disabilities

Improving the Lives of People with Learning Disabilities:
Combating Inequalities in Health, Education and Employment

Strand Palace Hotel
Thursday 5th July 2018

Professor Runswick – Cole

Chair in Education
University of Sheffield
Dr Ashok Roy
Consultant Psychiatrist & Medical Lead, Community Learning Disability Services
Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership Trust
Ingrid Vlam
Director of Care and Support
Brandon Trust
Dr Vicky Laute

Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Matt Clifton
Chief Executive
Skillnet Group
Doreen Kelly
Beyond Limits
Minesh Patel
Policy & Campaigns Manager
Professor Jane Seal
Central Academic Staff Professor in Education & REF Unit
The Open University
Sarah Burslem



Of the 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK, NHS England estimates that just over 200,000 are known to learning disability services (2017). Chronic levels of unidentified need underpin inequalities in health and well being for those with learning disabilities. On average, females with learning disabilities had around an 18 year shorter life expectancy than the general population, and males had around a 14 year shorter life expectancy than the general population (NHS Digital, 2017). Research by MENCAP (2017) also reveals that 50% of people with a learning disability experience chronic loneliness, whilst only 6% of adults with a learning disability, known to their local authority, are in paid employment. This is despite more than 60% wanting to and being able to be in work.

As part of the Government’s Mandate to the NHS 2017-18, steps have been made to decrease the health gap between people with learning disabilities and the general population. This includes a commitment to reduce the number of people placed in inpatient services through the provision of 48 Transforming Care Partnerships (TCPs). The implementation of Care and Treatment Reviews (CTRs) in 2015, has also sought to supplement TCPs and transform services for people with learning disabilities by improving the quality of hospital care.

However, primary legislation affecting the health care of those with learning disabilities, in the shape of the Health Services Commissioning Bill 2016-17, was abandoned prior to the General Election in May 2017. Research from MENCAP (2017) moreover suggests that many health professionals feel ill-equipped to meet the needs of these patients, with 23% of staff receiving no training on learning disabilities. Inadequacy in provision is furthermore, observable in additional sectors. Ofsted’s 2017 Local Area SEND inspections indicate that children and young people who have SEND aren’t receiving adequate support in schools and are having a poorer experience of the education system than their peers.

In response, this symposium will offer NHS providers, health and care professionals, local authorities, schools, welfare and employment officers, and third sector bodies, with a timely opportunity to develop strategies for minimising inequalities in health, education and employment for people with learning disabilities. It will also provide the opportunity to share best practice in transforming care and supporting those with learning disabilities to lead more healthy and independent lives.

Delegates will:
  • Identify priorities for improving health and social care across the NHS and local authorities in the absence of new primary legislation
  • Discuss ways of creating more inclusive and targeted education for adult and school-age SEND pupils
  • Evaluate methods of increasing the employment opportunities for those with learning disabilities
  • Discuss interventions enabling individuals with learning disabilities to lead more active, sociable and healthy lives
  • Scrutinise how health and social care professionals can receive better training on the needs of those with learning disabilities
  • Share best practice in enabling independent living and providing pathways into appropriate or assistive housing
  • Review the successes of TCPs and CTRs in delivering more collaborative and integrated forms of care that ensures timely discharge
  • Explore the need to combat stigma and drive changes in attitudes towards people with learning disabilities
To view of brochure, including the full event programme, click here.

Do feel free to circulate this information to relevant colleagues within your organisation.

In the meantime, to ensure your organisation is represented, please book online at your earliest convenience in order to secure your delegate place(s)
Kind regards,
Conference Team
Public Policy Exchange
Tel: 020 3137 8630
Fax: 020 3137 1459

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