The government today rejected calls for Number 10 to own responsibility for addressing the fact that people with learning disabilities tend to die more than twenty years younger than other people. 

The University of Bristol’s Norah Fry Research Centre has been conducting an ongoing "mortality review" (LeDeR) for the past three years and in its most recent annual report it called on the government to assume responsibility for adopting and implementing its recommendations.

The government published its offical response today, nine months on and while most eyes were trained on a high-profile cabinet reshuffle that saw Matt Hancock reappointed Health Secretary.

The easy-read version of the Govt's official reply reflected LeDeR's stance that 'somebody in the Government should have the job of making sure the LeDeR suggestions are taken up'.

In response, the Govt's easy-read publication says "We think that different people should be responsible."

"Social care is provided by local councils and many different companies and community organisations. We can’t tell them how they should run their social care."

"We think that two organisations should be responsible for the suggestions to
improve social care. They are: The Local Government Association (an independent group of all local councils and 
The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (an independent charity for the directors of Social Services in each local council)."

The government report added that "different people should be responsible for the suggestions to improve healthcare [also]. NHS England is responsible for making sure all NHS organisations in England work as well as possible." 

Response

Learning Disability Today has approached the Local Government Association and The Association of Directors for Adult Social Services for comment.

A Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "People with learning disabilities and autism deserve the best quality care and support. We are determined to close the inequality gap and through the LeDeR programme we will reduce early deaths and drive up quality of care."

"Already in response to LeDeR we committed to mandatory training about learning disability and autism for all health and social care staff which will give staff the skills and confidence to better support patients. However we must do more to build on the momentum of the programme and continue to learn from the past."