Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Learning disability services in Leicestershire and Rutland “transformed” following new approach

Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Integrated Care System (ICS) has “transformed” its learning disability service, and is now in the top third for performance in the country.

In 2020, regulators found that Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland ICS was failing autistic people and people with learning disabilities, with many unable to access true integrated care.

To tackle this, the ICS adopted a new collaborative approach between system partners which has helped to address health inequalities and reduce the number of people having long-term stays in hospital by a quarter.

How did Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland ICS transform their learning disability service?

Social workers from three local authorities, NHS providers and commissioners came together to form the Learning Disability and Autism (LDA) Collective.

The LDA collective set clear goals which aimed to meet national standards by March 2021. This included delivering annual health checks to more than two thirds of people with a learning disability, complete every LeDeR review with six months and have 38 adults or less in long-term hospital stay.

The ICS was able to meet all of its targets, carrying out health checks for 71% of their eligible population and completing all LeDeR reviews within six months.

NHS and local authority partners have worked together to increase the availability of local accommodation to improve their discharge pathways from hospital, which led to a 25% reduction in the number of patients in long-term hospital stays.

NHS England says that by sticking to their goals, the ICS was able to prevent the duplication of work and protect autistic people and people with learning disabilities from falling into gaps in care pathways.

Commitment to delivering “a full cultural change”

The case study says the ICS’s success can be attributed to “the system’s commitment to delivering a full cultural change and recognising the valuable insight that different system partners bring when coming together to design and deliver solutions for their local population”.

The approach has highlighted how other underperforming systems can change their learning disability service to help tackle health inequalities and provider better, joined up care.

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust says it is “delighted” to have been recognised for the work they’ve done and they remain “completely focused” on providing high quality care for autistic people and people with a learning disability.

Mark Roberts, Associate Director at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and Lead for the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland LDA Collaborative, said: “The Collaborative team has worked tirelessly to improve local services over the last two years and the recognition of everyone’s work by our NHS England colleagues is really encouraging.

“Our efforts have been effective because of the beautiful diversity of the skills and knowledge of the people that come together in our new arrangements and the common purpose that we all share. We have much more work to do, but we have the energy, commitment, and determination to see it through.”

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