Learning Disability Self-Assessment Framework shows some progress, but still more to be done


The publication of Valuing People Now in 2009  signalled a renewed focus on delivery of the key objectives of the 2001 White Paper. To reinforce this focus, the Government introduced two self-assessment frameworks for health and local authorities to complete. We have posted previously about the progress of partnership boards using this framework Method The [read the full story…]

New research begins to focus on therapeutic interventions on the underlying cause of learning disabilities


With the background of 11% of total United States government spending for disability support in 2006, the authors from Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School highlight the financial and social imperatives to improve services for people with learning disabilities. They remind us that most of the current focus on research has been on environmental [read the full story…]

Atlas maps health of adults with learning disabilities in Ontario, Canada

health care atlas

Background We have posted extensively about the current state of knowledge around the health care needs of people with learning disabilities and the nature of the responses by UK health providers. The Mencap Getting it Right campaign launched after the publication of Death by Indifference’, aims to support local campaigners, health professionals, GP surgeries, hospitals [read the full story…]

Rate of falls in older adults with learning disabilities substantially higher than in general elderly population Netherlands study finds

man falling shutterstock

Background Falls and fall-related injuries are a common and serious problem for older people. Nice guidance published in June last year suggested that 30% of people over 65 and 50% of people over older than 80 fall at least once a year. Falls are estimated to cost the NHS more than £2.3 billion per year. [read the full story…]

Prisoners with learning disabilities in Australian study had significantly worse health outcomes than their non-disabled peers

Background Prisoners have general health needs similar to those found in the general population, although there is a higher incidence of substance misuse and mental health problems as well as a range of health issues which are consequences of imprisonment. In 2007, a Prison Reform trust paper ‘No One Knows‘ suggested that between 20 and [read the full story…]

Ombudsman finds service failures once again in report on death of young woman with learning disabilities


As you know here at Elf towers, we are committed to bringing you the evidence, so that you can make informed decisions about practice. However I hope you’ll forgive a slight deviation from this aim this Friday, as we bring to your attention the publication of yet another report that highlights poor NHS care. On [read the full story…]

Canadian Survey data show high reported rates of heart disease and thyroid disorder but low reports of arthritis, migraines, back pain and allergies


We know that people with learning disabilities have a higher risk of a range of health conditions. Studies in the UK have shown that they have a shorter life expectancy with increased risk of early death compared to the general population, and health screening by GPs has shown significantly  high levels of unmet physical and [read the full story…]

New Outcomes Framework launched to measure effectiveness of services for people with learning disabilities

Health information

The healthcare needs of people with learning disabilities have been well covered in the literature. The recent confidential inquiry into premature deaths found delays or problems with diagnosis or treatment and problems with providing appropriate care in response to changing needs. Annual health checks have been shown to be effective in identifying previously unknown health [read the full story…]

Risk assessment tool in acute hospitals reported to contribute to improvement in health outcomes for people with learning disabilities


We recently posted about the publication of the final report of the confidential inquiry into premature deaths in people with learning disabilities. The Inquiry found 43% of the deaths of people with learning disabilities were unexpected and for a substantial number, there was significant difficulty or delay in diagnosis, investigation or specialist referral. The Inquiry [read the full story…]

Rates of emergency admissions to hospital higher for people with learning disabilities

IHAL logo

Avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions for ‘ambulatory care sensitive conditions’ (ACSCs), reduces costs and should provide good outcomes for patients. ACSCs are defined as those where ‘effective management’ at the primary care level should avoid admission to hospital. Many of the conditions identified as ACSCs, for example convulsions and epilepsy are more common among people with [read the full story…]