About the workstream
This workstream aims to support and lead work across the region to transform services for people with learning disabilities. It is focusing on reducing reliance on hospital beds through a place-based approach to care, building flexible community services and crisis care; as well as improving overall health, reducing inequalities and premature death across the region.
Reducing the number of premature deaths
The North East and Cumbria Learning Disability Network is leading and coordinating implementation of the national learning disability mortality review (LeDeR) across the region and has established a stop people dying too young group. The LeDeR programme has been commissioned by NHS England to support local areas in England to review the deaths of people with a learning disability to identify common themes and learning. Local priorities are based on learning from reviews and include a focus on constipation, aspiration pneumonia, health promotion and identifying deteriorating health.
Young people help to design new learning programme
Working with mainstream schools a learning programme to improve resilience for young people with autism and their families and schools has been rolled out to participating sites between January and March this year. The programme was co-designed with young people and outcomes are currently being evaluated. Feedback so far is that the project has strengthened links with schools and local parent/carer forums, and a peer network has been set up to share learning.
A task and finish group has been established to oversee the north east and north Cumbria Transforming Care Partnership’s (TCP) plans to move to a citizenship model. TCPs are made up of our clinical commissioning groups, specialised commissioners and local authorities which work with people with a learning disability, autism or both and their families and carers to agree and deliver local plans.
Leading together for a change
A two day leadership programme for young people, professionals and parent carers who are involved in improving the lives of people with a learning disability, autism or both was held in April – as part of the leading together for change programme from the NHS North East Leadership Academy. Throughout the change programme participants work together on improvement projects and the event enabled participants to decide which projects they would be taking forward. Examples included a ‘toolkit’ to keep friends connected and a project to look at barriers young people face to finding employment. Chief executive of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust John Lawler and director of children’s services Martin Gray are sponsors for the programme.
Transforming care partnership
A significant piece of work is now underway involving senior members of our transforming care partnership, following serious safeguarding allegations involving Whorlton Hall, an independent hospital near Barnard Castle, managed by Cygnet Healthcare.
Allegations of shocking physical and psychological abuse at Whorlton Hall were brought to our attention by the producers of BBC Panorama on 3 May 2019. Immediate steps were taken to ensure the well-being and safety of patients at the hospital and all were moved to alternative care provision within two weeks. As a partnership, and as individual organisations, we are committed to ensuring such a situation does not happen again.
A full incident management team remains in place and all organisations, including the lead commissioner, provider and Durham County Council, are working to progress a number of ongoing actions, including a full review by the local Safeguarding Adults Board, and to assist the ongoing police investigation.
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