The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities (FPLD) has published an updated framework to help identify and address the needs of people with learning disabilities from black and minority ethnic (BME) communities.

 ‘Learning Difficulties and Ethnicity: Updating a Framework for Action’ report and checklist for action is an update of the Department of Health’s (DH) 2004 framework. It updates the original report with new information from sources such as the DH’s ‘Vision for Adult Social Care’ (2010) report and priorities from Valuing People Now – the national programme that set out a vision and steps for improving opportunities and services for people with learning disabilities and family carers.

Christine Burke, senior development manager at the FPLD, said: “Despite the statutory duty to ensure there is equality in access to services for people with learning disabilities, research has shown that very few services promote diversity with any real success, and people from BME communities are still facing discrimination and unsatisfactory quality of care. “If we want to improve the access and inclusion of people with learning disabilities from BME groups in health and social care services, it is crucial that we need to know the local population and the best ways of engaging and supporting all communities.

We also need to understand the needs and anxieties of people from BME communities as well as the gaps in current service provision. “It is hoped that this update ‘Framework for Action’ will provide some important ideas as to how this can be improved across both rural areas, where there is still a need to identify the needs of newly arrived, and largely unknown communities and inner city areas where there may be higher concentrations of diverse communities and therefor some local expertise. “We hope that our updated ‘Framework for Action’ will prove to be a useful tool for how this goal can be achieved and that it will also ensure that people with learning disabilities from BME communities are never left behind.”