Refreshed Health Charter to tackle health inequalities for people with learning disabilities

Public Health England and VODG (the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group), have launched the updated Health Charter for social care providers who support people with a learning disability. The Charter was developed with people with learning disabilities and their families to support providers to improve the overall health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities.

Viv Bennett, Chief Nurse at Public Health England, said:

“The Health Charter has been developed for adult social care providers and staff who have an important role in helping people access good healthcare and lead a healthy lifestyle. It is intended to raise awareness of the health inequalities that exist for people with a learning disability and act as a tool to enable staff to improve support given to enable people to embed  healthy lifestyle. The Charter supports staff to increase access to and uptake of healthchecks and screening programmes.”

Dr Rhidian Hughes, Chief Executive at VODG said:

“People with learning disabilities live shorter lives and have worse health than the general population. Social care services have a key role in tackling these health inequalities by supporting people to get the best out of health services and live a healthy life. The updated Health Charter covers the main elements of support that contribute to maintaining good physical and mental health and now includes a commitment to addressing over-medication, in particular the overuse of psychotropic medicines. This is an important step towards ensuring that people with learning disabilities are only taking the medication they really need and are not experiencing unnecessary side effects.”

Social care providers can sign up to the Health Charter here.

This updated version of the Charter includes information on the STOMP campaign for social care providers to stop the over-medication of people with learning disabilities and/or autism.

Evaluation of Building the Right Support (BRS) – National Survey

To support the national programme to transform care for people with a learning, disability, autism or both, NHS England and its partners have commissioned an evaluation of the programme. This is being carried out by The Strategy Unit, ICF (a health research and consultancy company); the British Institute for Learning Disabilities (BILD) and the University of Birmingham.

The main aim of the evaluation is to learn about how effectively local areas are delivering the ambitions set out in Building the Right Support (BRS), to understand how we can improve quality and outcomes. Your feedback will play a valuable and vital role as the evaluation is particularly keen to identify and share good practice in order to drive the change that is needed.

An important early part of this evaluation is a national survey of the 48 Transforming Care Partnerships (TCPs). We are inviting people and organisations who have been involved in any aspect of work in their local TCP to take part. We want to hear from everyone who has a view of any or all of this work including:

  • people with a learning disability, autism or both, their family members and carers
  • experts by experience
  • TCP SROs and leaders
  • directors of adult social services and children’s services
  • all professionals, clinicians and staff involved in improving the quality of care and support – whether in health, social care, housing or education
  • commissioners and providers of care and support

The survey will be from 19th October to 1st December 2017. You can access the survey using this link.

An  easy read version is available.

The survey will take 15-20 minutes. We welcome views from everyone, so please forward the survey to your wider contacts and networks.

We will not attribute any views to individuals or their organisations – your feedback will be treated in confidence.

We thank you in advance for your co-operation with this important work.

If you have any comments or concerns, please contact  Sally Anderson  at NHS England and Aidan Moss at the evaluation team. Thanks in advance for your support.


Quality improvement resource for adult social care

This resource helps shape high quality adult social care services and improve the well being of adults using social care.

Aimed at commissioners, it brings together NICE quality standards and guidelines in an easy to use format, mapped against Care Quality Commission key lines of enquiry*. It may also be useful to provider organisations and people who fund their own care.

It can help you to:

  • find quality statements (from our quality standards)
  • look at recommendations (from our managing medicines guidelines)
  • start conversations with provider colleagues to agree ways to improve quality of care in your area
  • agree ways to measure quality improvements.

Available here.