The quality of care of people with learning disabilities, and some shortcomings, were addressed in the 2019 report from the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR). The LeDeR report highlighted issues including delays in identifying that a person was ill, recognising further deterioration, and accessing and receiving appropriate medical care. Failure to recognise or act on signs a patient is deteriorating can result in missed opportunities to provide the necessary care to give the best possible chance of survival.
Care home staff can find it difficult and challenging to identify possible deterioration in some residents with a learning disability. Some people with a learning disability may have unusual responses to pain and discomfort, and may come up against ‘diagnostic overshadowing’ when these indicators may be seen as unusual behaviour rather than prompting further investigation to identify a biological cause.
Using Telehealth to help build up a set of baseline observations for each individual, provides a personalised care approach to establishing their ‘unique wellness’. This then enables staff to pick up individual changes that might otherwise go unnoticed.