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New NHS standards for people with learning disabilities to be launched next year, conference hears

Emotional stories and discussions of best practice were heard alongside an announcement on standards at the Learning Disability Practice Conference 2017.

Emotional stories and discussions of best practice were heard alongside an announcement on standards at the Learning Disability Practice Conference 2017 in Manchester this week.

 


David Harling, NHS Improvement learning disability lead. Picture: Neil O’Connor

Four new Learning Disability Improvement Standards were outlined by NHS Improvement learning disability lead David Harling, during the day’s opening speech.

The standards are set to be introduced in January.

They are aimed at:

•    Improving workforce by both supporting providers to develop the skills and capacity to meet people’s needs, as well as ensuring safe, sustainable, productive staffing.
•    Reducing inequality.
•    Improving specialist services.
•    Improving inclusion and engagement with service users and their families.

19 improvement measures

The standards are supported by 19 improvement measures and will be checked by NHS England employed quality checkers, who are people who have learning disabilities who can use their experience to critically assess and suggest improvements to services.

Speaking alongside Mr Harling, were NHS England patient experience lead Lorraine Wolfenden and lead for national quality checks Sarah Wright.

Ms Wolfenden outlined the importance of understanding what matters to individual people and ensuring ‘always events’ happen – in that a client or patient can always expect certain levels or aspects of care.

The ‘Always Events’ initiative was launched in 2015.

Decent choice of meals

Ms Wolfenden gave examples, such as ensuring people had a decent choice of meals at Rothertham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation trust.

‘People were saying, quite frankly, the meal choices were rubbish. So, they worked with catering to get a better menu,’ Ms Wolfenden explained.

Elsewhere, a service provider in Hull identified ensuring access to a phone as an Always Event.

Conference speakers

Further cohorts of trusts and services will join the initiative in January and March, and be eligible to receive an Always Event Recognition Award for NHS Improvement.

Other speakers at the Learning Disability Conference included RCN Nurse of the Year 2017 Melanie Davies, who told the moving story of Paul Ridd’s unnecessary death and her subsequent work to improve learning disability care in Swansea.

Three workshops were held on ageing, over medication and end of life care.
 

 


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