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

New collaborative in Leicestershire aims to address health inequalities for people with a learning disability

A collaborative approach to address health inequalities and transform the lives of people with learning disabilities and/or autism across Leicestershire has been formally agreed.

The LDA Collaborative, led by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) with Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Integrated Care Board (ICB), will combine the work of local authorities, NHS providers and commissioners into one virtual team.

The aim is to remove barriers and provided more seamless, flexible, person-centred services for autistic people and people with a learning disability to solve current challenges and ensure better health, better care and efficient use of resources.

Individuals with lived experience, and carers will also play a significant role, ensuring that improvements in provision and support will be based on their needs.

For too long there have been gaps in care pathways

David Williams, director of strategy and business development, at LPT, said“Currently people with a learning disability or autism have a shorter life expectancy than other people. Forming a collaborative, builds on our commitments to work together to champion better outcomes for everyone with a learning disability or autism. I am very proud that we are the first collaborative in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and this signals how important our work together is. For too long there have been gaps in care pathways, people don’t always get the integrated care they deserve.

“Working together as a collaborative demonstrates our commitment to removing those gaps and barriers, ensuring everyone can access integrated care and lives and outcomes can be improved.”

The collaborative has already reduced the number of long-term learning disability and autistic hospital patients by 25% since 2019, increasing supported accommodation, and working towards ensuring all people with a learning disability in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland receive an annual health check. Additionally, members of this collaborative have led on 25 quality improvement initiatives.

Current ambitions include:

  • Ensuring everyone with a learning disability has a health check undertaken each year
  • Person-centred, proactive and preventative care being delivered
  • Access to specialist services and early intervention when needed
  • Admission to an acute mental health hospital only when necessary, and timely discharge
  • Co-ordinated health and social care across the system;
  • Systematic learning from LeDeR and outcomes embedded across the system
  • Working with neighbourhoods and the voluntary sector to reduce health inequalities.

Caroline Trevithick, Chief Nurse and Deputy CEO in the LLR ICB, added:We know how important it is to improve the quality of care for people with a learning disability and autism and how the quality of services deteriorates when we allow people to fall in the gaps created by organisational silos. This collaborative has already demonstrated how working together with people at the heart of their work has started to make real improvements to the quality of the care we provide for our population.”

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) provides community health, mental health and learning disabilities services for the one million people living in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

A new website specifically for autistic people, their families and carers in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland – Autism Space – will be launched by the LDA Collaborative in the coming weeks. It will feature information on autism, education and employment, health and lifestyle, benefits and finance, and support groups.

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