More people with learning disabilities in England live in their own homes but still face inequalities in health and employment

partnership board report cover

Learning Disability Partnership Boards were established as a result of the Valuing People White Paper to work within the overall framework of local strategic partnerships to oversee inter-agency planning and service development. Crucial to the success of partnership boards was that the membership should be multi stakeholder, to include service users, carers, senior representatives from health, education and social services, housing, leisure, employment and independent providers.

The authors of this brief report summarised responses from regional partnership boards to a series of questions about the  provision of services in their local area in 2010/11. Interestingly, this year, following the break-up of the Valuing People support team, only 118 of the 153 partnership boards responded to the questionnaire, compared with all 153 in 2009/10.

Key findings from the research are

  • Partnership Boards reported 50% of people with a learning disability received an annual health check in 2010/11. (This figure is up on the previous year, but of course fewer boards responded this year.)
  • Most Boards reported doing well at closing large scale accommodation and replacing it with smaller community based services.
  • Self reporting of success in addressing health inequalities suggested that only 22% reported doing well.
  • More people with a learning disability (65%) live in their own home or family than in the previous year.
  • More people with learning disabilities had jobs in 2010/11 compared to previous years. (However, the figure remains very low at just 7% of people.)

Partnership Board Progress Reports 2010/11, Copeland A & Glover G, Improving Health and Lives, 2011

You can view the powerpoint presentation of the report here

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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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