We understand these figures are likely to be distressing for the families of children and adults with learning disabilities and/ or autism. Please see our website here for resources/ information related to Covid 19 for family carers, including information sheets about going into hospital with Covid-19 and accessing routine healthcare during this period.
The University of Bristol’s fourth annual Learning Disability Mortality Review report was published on 16th July 2020. We send our condolences to those families who have lost loved ones.
The report states that in 2019 LeDeR were notified of 2843 deaths of people with a learning disability. The most common cause of death was respiratory conditions. Data in the report highlights that people with a learning disability are at a higher risk of dying than the general population.
We know that people with learning disabilities are at greater risk of premature and avoidable deaths, and the report released today highlights this inequality. The combination of underlying health conditions and barriers to accessing timely healthcare have increased those risks during the current pandemic.
On 16th July 2020, NHS England published their second LeDeR: Action from Learning Report. It is encouraging that NHSE are considering the issues, but we are disappointed that the impact of the work so far has been insufficient to address the health inequalities faced by people with learning disabilities.
We call on the government to accept that the work laid out in its ‘Action from Learning’ report has not been adequate to address health avoiding diagnostic overshadowing inequalities and to consider how the current pandemic has further impacted on the health of people with learning disabilities. They must put in place processes to ensure the health needs of people with learning disabilities are effectively met and supported by health and social care. This should include:
- Ensuring equal access to healthcare for people with a learning disability
- Regularly consulting with family members and carers who know the person with learning disabilities and/ or autism very well.
- People with learning disabilities and their carers, wherever they are living, having timely access to covid-19 testing and to Personal Protective Equipment.
Our CBF Support Service is still running for the families of children, young people and adults with severe learning disabilities. Please ring 0300 666 0126 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.