Last year, we posted a guest blog by Pauline Heslop, a researcher at the Norah Fry Research Centre, who set out the alarming findings of a confidential enquiry into premature deaths of people with learning disabilities. The enquiry found that people with learning disabilities die significantly younger in England and Wales than people without learning disabilities. In fact, people with learning disabilities are two and a half times more likely to die before the age of 50. Now, a new charter has been launched which aims to tackle health inequalities faced by people with learning disabilities.
‘The Health Charter for Providers Supporting People with Learning Disabilities’ has been devised in by the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) and the Learning Disabilities Public Health Observatory, in partnership with the National Development Team for Inclusion, The National Care Forum and Mencap.
Organisations supporting people with learning disabilities are urged to sign up to the charter, which will commit them to a range of actions aimed at improving health outcomes for people, including
- Ensuring staff understand and apply the principles of the mental capacity act
- Listening to, respecting and involving family carers
- Providing staff training on basic health and wellbeing issues
- Providing accessible information on health and wellbeing
- Promoting access to screening and ensuring everybody gets an annual health check.
Visit the charter website here.