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Study finds shortfall in reasonable adjustments across CCGs and NHS trusts in England

Research suggests people with learning disabilities remain invisible in some NHS services

Research suggests people with learning disabilities remain invisible in some services

Picture: Roy Mehta

A study reported on Freedom of Information requests to 206 clinical commissioning groups and 141 NHS trusts in England to explore the provision of reasonable adjustments to people with learning disabilities.

All 186 commissioners who responded required reasonable adjustments to be made for disabled people through their provider contracts. Only eight, however, provided evidence that reasonable adjustments were embedded in practice.

Lack of data

Of concern, 15% of trusts were unable to provide data about numbers of inpatients with learning disabilities; while greater numbers could not provide data on outpatient services. More than half of trusts stated explicitly they did not undertake or publish audits about the use of their services by people with learning disabilities.

If trusts are unable to reliably identify people with learning disabilities as a separate sub group, it is difficult to see how they can identify who needs reasonable adjustments and whether they are being made.

Also, if they are unable to assure themselves that they are meeting their Equality Act 2010 duties and their commissioners do not ask, there is a risk that people’s rights will not be respected and protected.


About the author

Dave Atkinson is an independent nurse consultant

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