Since the BBC Panorama Programme in 2011, which exposed the abuse of people at Winterbourne View Hospital there has been increased scrutiny on how health and social care needs of people with a learning disability are met. The expectation is ‘homes not hospitals’. The CCG originally put in some services to implement this but this has given us an opportunity to review the four key pathways of inpatient care, intensive support team, LD community services and forensic care for people.
Our biggest area of change is our community service model for people with a learning disability and autism. At the moment the service model represents predominately a mental health service and not a service designed to meet people’s learning disability and autistic specific needs.
The model will have a menu of opportunity and within that menu of opportunity we will see programmes of work around behaviour, around health facilitation, around health desensitisation. And by those terms we mean; how do we support those people who need extra support to access primary or secondary health care, and how do we if people are frightened to access that care provide them with a programme to make them less frightened. We will also see things around communication and sensory care.
So the next steps are to build upon those high level models we have in place. Now our provider along with Suffolk County Council are already implementing some of the changes, so we have already seen services beginning to adopt looking after people with ASD and challenging behaviour and not just LD. We’ve seen, we haven’t had one admission to hospital to a specialist LD hospital since December, so we are already working better as a system making sure that people get care in the community. We need to build upon that and expand our community offer in regards to health facilitation, all of those things.
I would really like to thank everybody that has been involved in the project to date really, we have had amazing feedback from the co-production partners like ACE, who supported us to make our pathways user friendly so we could talk to as many people with a learning disability as possible about what was important to them. And also I would like to thank our families and carers and our experts by experience because without them we wouldn’t have been on the journey we have been on and we wouldn’t have made the changes I don’t think that we have made, as quickly as we have so I would really like to thank them.
You can find more information on the #averydifferentconversation Learning Disabilities & Autism page.