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New figures on premature deaths of people with learning disabilities

A report published today re-affirms what we have known for many years- that people with learning disabilities die, on average, 15-20 years sooner than the general population.

The annual report of the national Learning Disability Mortality Review (LeDeR) Programme has also confirmed that people with severe or profound and multiple learning disabilities are more likely to die younger, and has highlighted the need for health professionals to recognise that behaviour is a means of communicating an unmet health need.

The CBF supports many families who have significant concerns about accessing timely and appropriate support for their relatives’ health needs. We help them to ensure that their relatives’ behaviour is seen as communicating distress rather than being used as an excuse to delay or deny access to healthcare.  The families we support whose relatives have tragically died prematurely experience additional ongoing trauma in trying to achieve answers, justice and accountability from a complex system.

The LeDeR review programme is an important initiative to continue to shine a spotlight on this scandal and drive change, but we need to see evidence of systemic action and improvement. We await the urgent response of NHSE to the recommendations in the report, and more importantly we need to see the access to healthcare for people with learning disabilities that they have a right to.

To download the report click here

To read our information about access to healthcare, click here

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