stephan taylor WVJIPThe learning disability sector should develop care services for the individual, rather than employing a 'one size fits all’ approach,” according to Stephen Taylor, a principal adviser on the Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme.

In delivering his keynote speech at last week's [November 5] University of West London (UWL) hosted conference, Together We Stand, Taylor (pictured) spoke about the developments in hospital care for those with learning disabilities in the wake of the Winterbourne View abuse scandal.

Further discussion on promoting safety for people with learning disabilities in hospitals was delivered by Dr Pauline Heslop from the Norah Fry Research Centre at Bristol University. In her talk, Dr Heslop looked at lessons learnt from the Confidential Inquiry into premature deaths of people with learning disabilities.

"Shockingly, for every one person in the general public who dies from a cause of death that could be prevented by good quality of care, three people with learning disabilities will die," she said. Dr Heslop went on to advocate a number of improvements, including cross-communication across the patient pathway and actively listening to the carers and families of patients.

The event aimed to harness industry knowledge and map out a pathway for future developments in the field and was chaired by Ann Chivers from British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD) and Certitude's John Keaveney and Anne Corrigan.

Commenting on the conferences key outcomes, UWL Professor Bob Gates said: “This major conference brought together people from across the learning disability sector; it was presented, planned and attended by those with learning disabilities. Both speakers and guests had the opportunity to be challenged and think about the future. It was an honour to host this event at UWL where we are committed to educating future health care professionals to work with people with learning disabilities and their families with compassion and kindness.”

Delegates travelled from across the UK to attend the event and were entertained by pop band, MiXiT whose members include those with and without learning disabilities.

This was the first inclusive conference to be held at the University. It was hosted in collaboration with the BILD, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, Ealing Mencap, The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability and Certitude.