This review looked at the care and support for people with a learning disability in 7 areas of England in March 2021.
Provider collaboration reviews
This report is one of our provider collaboration reviews.
These reviews aim to show the best of innovation across systems under pressure, and to drive system, regional and national learning and improvement.
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Provider collaboration review: care for people with a learning disability living in the community during the pandemic
What we did
We looked at the care and support for people with a learning disability in 7 areas of England in March 2021.
- Transforming Health and Social Care in Kent and Medway
- Humber Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership
- Our Healthier South East London ICS
- Somerset ICS
- Coventry and Warwickshire ICS
- Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership
- Joined Up Care Derbyshire
As part of our review we carried out the following activities:
- Remote interviews and focus groups with providers across the 7 areas of focus
- Analysis of available data around local systems, including demographic, inequalities, COVID-19 outbreak analysis, and learning disabilities data
- Case tracking of people with a learning disability – we looked at the experiences of 34 individuals
- Survey of people with a learning disability who use services, and their representatives
- Engagement with national voluntary organisations
- Remote access to electronic patient records/management computer systems with consent from general practices
What we found
We identified the following challenges for systems and health and care providers
- Understanding and managing the impact of the pandemic on people with a learning disability, including children and young people, and the long-term effects of service disruption. This includes making sure that people receive the additional support and care they need, when they need it to prevent breakdown in care arrangements.
- Making planning of transition from children’s to adult services a priority for improvement. This includes reviewing the impact of the pandemic and considering what steps can and need to be put in place to manage transitions more effectively, in a way that is inclusive for everyone.
- Reviewing the use of digital technology in care, ensuring that people are offered a balance of remote and face-to-face care that is individualised to meet their needs. Where digital technology is used, providers need to make sure that they have steps in place to protect the safety and involvement of people with a learning disability. This includes making adjustments to make sure it is accessible for everyone.
- Ensuring that the needs of people with a learning disability, including any health inequalities and specific needs relating to protected characteristics such as ethnicity, age and gender, are part of a system-wide strategy. This includes having learning disability specialists or champions as part of the governance structure.
- Integrating learning into everyday practice, so that systems have a comprehensive view of their local areas. In line with recommendation two in the 2020 LeDeR annual report, this includes reducing disparities and ensuring people are able to remain in their communities and lead their best lives.