New strategy for Learning Disabilities published in Scotland

Keys to Life Scottish Strategy

In 2000, the Scottish Office published ‘The same as you?’ a ten year programme for development. In 2010, a two-year evaluation of the programme began to look at what progress had been made and what still needed to be achieved.
The national Learning Disability Strategy group worked on the key themes that emerged from this evaluation and the resulting strategy has now been published as the Keys to Life.

The strategy is set in the framework of human rights and looks at

  • demographic information about the population of people with learning disabilities in Scotland,
  • approaches to commissioning services,
  • health and healthcare support,
  • support for independent living,
  • culture change and keeping safe,
  • education,  transitions and employment
  • support for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities,
  • working with the Criminal Justice system,
  • providing support to people with complex needs, such as those on the autism spectrum or complex mental health needs.

Each section of the strategy has a number of specific recommendations for action, totalling 52 in number.

Download The Keys to Life: The new learning disability strategy in Scotland, following on from, and building on the principles and successes of The same as you?, the original review of service for people with a learning disability, published in 2000.

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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