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The West of England Learning Disabilities Collaborative

If you would like to find out more about work in the West of England related to supporting carers for people with learning disabilities during COVID-19, please visit our dedicated webpages

Responding to the findings of the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR programme) is a priority for the West of England. People with learning disabilities die 15-20 years younger than average, and many of these deaths are from avoidable causes, such as pneumonia and sepsis.

The West of England Learning Disabilities Collaborative was established in early 2019 to address this, by joining forces locally to focus on three key priority areas:

  • Using the National Early Warning Score 2 (NEWS2) and soft-signs tools to support early identification of physical deterioration.
  • Increasing uptake and standardising the quality of annual health checks.
  • Increasing uptake of flu vaccination, including promoting the nasal vaccine as a reasonable adjustment for people with a severe needle phobia. For a Plain-English guide, click here.

The West of England Learning Disabilities Collaborative is hosted by the West of England AHSN in collaboration with NHS England and NHS Improvement (South West) Learning Disability Programme Lead Nurse.

Collaborative launch

In April 2019, we held our launch event for the Collaborative. With around 130 delegates from a wide range of backgrounds, including people with learning disabilities, the day was a brilliant start.

We believe our health service needs to get better at preventing, recognising and responding to physical deterioration in people with learning disabilities, by adapting systems and services to meet individual needs and by providing reasonable adjustment where necessary.

There are so many passionate people in the region working on these areas, with a desire to work together and bring the kind of collective change only possible through collaboration.

Projects currently underway include: acute trusts testing soft-signs tools; care home providers sharing solutions to improve uptake of annual health checks and flu vaccination; community and mental health trusts training new specialist staff in NEWS2; RESTORE2 being adapted for use with people with learning disabilities; and a passionate family carer is leading a project to ‘Spread the Word’ about flu vaccination.

Our second Learning Disabilities Collaborative event

In October 2019, the West of England Learning Disabilities Collaborative held a second learning event. The day included an outstanding performance from the Misfits – a theatre group led by people with learning difficulties. There was also plenty of time for collaboration, networking and learning. Watch the video below to find out more.

Our 2020 virtual collaborative events

We hosted our first virtual Learning Disabilities Collaborative event in June 2020. You can watch a recording of the event here. Topics covered include COVID-19, recognising and responding to physical deterioration, annual health checks, and looking ahead to this year’s flu vaccination programme.

Our second virtual Learning Disabilities Collaborative event was held in July 2020. A recording of this is available here. The event focused on the fast approaching 2020/2021 flu vaccination programme, COVID-19, annual health checks and recognising and responding to physical deterioration.

Find out more

For further information, contact Hannah Little at Hannah.Little@weahsn.net, or Greg Harris at greg.harris@weahsn.net. Alternatively, you can call us on 0117 900 2484.

You can also join our West of England Learning Disabilities Collaborative hive on hyvr (have your vision realised), our social media platform. Please feel free to promote and share the work you are involved with on hyvr. This can be a great space to collaborate with others, share ideas and find out what else is happening locally.

Learning Disabilities during COVID-19

If you work in a care home or organisation for people with Learning Disabilities and would like some further information on how we can support you or available resources and training please view our page here.

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