Read our January 2022 Learning Disabilities Collaborative newsletter here. You can sign up to receive these newsletters by completing the form at the end of this webpage.

Responding to the findings of the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR programme) is a priority for the West of England. The disparity between the age of death for people with learning disabilities (age 4 years and over) and the general population (all ages) in 2019 was 22 years for males and 27 years for females. Many of these deaths continue to be from avoidable causes, such as pneumonia and sepsis. Read more about the age of death disparities for people with learning disabilities.

The West of England Learning Disabilities Collaborative (LDC) was established in early 2019 to address this disparity, 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. Read about about NEWS2.
  • Increasing uptake and standardising the quality of annual health checks. Read about Annual Health Checks from NHS England. You can watch our videos on annual health checks in the resources section of this webpage.
  • Increasing uptake of flu vaccination, including promoting the nasal vaccine as a reasonable adjustment for people with a severe needle phobia.

The West of England LDC is hosted by the West of England AHSN in collaboration with NHS England and NHS Improvement (South West) Learning Disability Programme Lead Nurse. Read our plain-English summary of West of England AHSN.

In October 2021 the LDC team presented to the West of England Patient Safety Collaborative Board. Watch their short presentation which gives an overview of the collaborative’s work and why co-creation is vital to its effectiveness:

In June 2021, the collaborative was shortlisted for a 2021 HSJ Patient Safety Award. Read about our shortlisted projects here.

Our 2020 and 2021 virtual collaborative events

View all of our West of England Learning Disabilities Collaboration virtual events here or below.


New videos – Increasing the uptake of Annual Health Checks

NHS England and NHS Improvement South West, with support from the West of England AHSN, have created a new suite of free videos to assist healthcare professionals to increase the uptake of Annual Health Checks for people with learning disabilities.

The videos focus on building knowledge and awareness for healthcare professionals on managing the checks, understanding more about reasonable adjustments, The Mental Health Capacity Act and remote consultations.

A second suite of videos for people with a learning disability, and their carers and parents, who may want to learn more about the check is also available. A number of the videos feature Misfits Theatre Company from Bristol. Videos also discuss managing oral health to avoid future complications and how a Health Action Plan can be of benefit.

Video – promoting the COVID booster

NHS SW, working with the Misfits Theatre Company, have filmed a new video to encourage people with learning disabilities to have the COVID booster.

Oral health for people with a learning disability

A PDF toolkit has been produced by Katy Kerr on behalf of Health Education England, in collaboration with the West of England AHSN and NHS England and NHS Improvement South West, to provide information on oral health to support the care of people with a learning disability.

Access the PDF oral health guidance.

Access Makaton prompt cards related to dentist appointments.

Supporting care homes staff to care for residents who are at risk of deterioration – videos

The West of England Academic Health Science Network collaborated to produce a series of free videos and e-learning materials to support staff working in care homes to care for residents who are at risk of deterioration.

The short training videos are freely available in a HEE YouTube playlist. These introductory films – which have been watched over 500,000 times – help spot the signs of deterioration and serious illness such as sepsis in patients.

Each video is around 3-4 minutes each – it will take just over 40 minutes to watch the series.

Case study: supporting personalised care for people with a Learning Disability in care homes

The Baywater Telehealth Application has been used on a trial basis across care homes with residents with Learning Disabilities in Gloucestershire, to assist staff in spotting signs of deterioration. Read our Baywater case study.

Video – supporting people with learning disabilities

Watch this short video produced by a member of the collaborative which shares news on the work across Gloucestershire to support people with learning disabilities, including the importance of Annual Health Checks.

Thank you to Gloucestershire CCG for producing and sharing this video.

Template letters

Check out these excellent resources from our colleagues at the Sirona Community Learning Disability Team:

Flu vaccines and reasonable adjustments: the Misfits Theatre Company videos

On behalf of the NHS, Misfits Theatre Company created a video which tackles the misinformation surrounding the flu vaccination and urges people with learning disabilities and their carers (family member or support worker) to get their flu vaccine.

The company also produced a video on how reasonable adjustments can help people with a learning disability and autistic people live longer and healthier lives. Reasonable adjustments are a legal requirement to make sure health services are accessible to all disabled people. Watch the film to find out how a simple reasonable adjustment can make a big difference to a person’s experience of, and access to, health care.

For a Plain-English guide to the flu vaccination, click here.

Read more about the nasal vaccine as a reasonable adjustment.


The contract with the University of Bristol to support LeDeR has come to an end. There is now a new LeDeR website where you can find out more about LeDeR, or report the death of a person with a learning disability. If you would like more information or need help, contact the LeDeR Support Team.

Second Learning Disabilities Collaborative event – October 2019

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 from October 2019 to find out more.

You can also read the PDF report from our  October 2019 event.

Collaborative launch in April 2019

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. Read more about our launch event in April 2019.

Find out more

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.

For further information, please contact our patient safety team and/or you can sign up to our LDC newsletter below:

Learning Disabilities during COVID-19

If you work in a care home or organisation for people with Learning Disabilities review our free resources and training opportunities.

Read more

Managing Deterioration Safety Improvement Programme

Our Managing Deterioration Safety Improvement Programme helps health and social care staff spot the signs of, and manage, deterioration.

Read more