I am today announcing the publication of the Government’s response to the recommendations of the second annual report of the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) programme. The response is attached.
The LeDeR programme is the first national mortality review of its kind. It was established in June 2015 to help reduce early deaths and health inequalities for people with a learning disability. It does this by supporting local areas in England to put in place robust processes to review the deaths of people with a learning disability and to ensure that the learning from these reviews is put into practice. The programme is led by the University of Bristol and commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) on behalf of NHS England.
The University of Bristol published their second annual report of the programme on 4 May 2018, which covered the period from 1 July 2016 to 30 November 2017. During that time, 1,311 deaths were notified to the LeDeR programme and 103 reviews were completed and approved by the LeDeR quality assurance process. In thirteen of the cases reviewed, the individual’s health had been adversely affected by external factors including delays in care or treatment; gaps in service provision; organisational dysfunction; or neglect or abuse.
As I outlined to the House on 8 May (Official Report 8 May 2018, Vol. 640, Col. 545), the report makes a series of national recommendations that are aimed at NHS England, as well as health and care commissioners and providers.
The Government accepts the Review’s recommendations and we are publishing today our plan for making progress against each of them. The Government is already taking action, alongside its system partners, to address the concerns raised in the report. We need to promote universal awareness amongst health staff of the needs of people with learning disabilities, and we are taking steps to make this happen. By March 2019, we will complete a public consultation on proposals for mandatory learning disability training for all health and care staff.
This Government is committed to reducing the health inequalities that people with learning disabilities face, and reducing the number of people with learning disabilities whose deaths may have been preventable with different health and care interventions. The LeDeR programme was introduced to ensure local, evidence-based action is taken to improve support for people with a learning disability, and while we clearly have a great deal further to go to improve outcomes, it is resulting in commissioners focusing their attention on their local mortality rates and the reasons for them.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: