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Birmingham and Solihull to tackle health inequalities for people with learning disabilities

Partners across Birmingham and Solihull have refreshed their commitment to tackling health inequalities for people with learning disabilities and working together to improve health and social care services across Birmingham and Solihull.

NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in collaboration with local NHS community teams and hospitals, Mencap, Solihull Experts by Experience, Solihull Action through Advocacy, Birmingham City Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council have launched a new plan which details key priorities health and social care partners will focus on over the coming months to support improvements in the quality of care for those with learning disabilities and their families.

On average, people with learning disabilities die between 23 to 27 years earlier than the wider population.

The new plan forms part of the national Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) programme which is dedicated to reviewing each and every death of an individual with a learning disability to understand why it happened and what improvements can be made as a result.

The plan sets out 20 key areas which will be worked on over the next three years, co-produced with partners including local hospital trusts, experts by experience, general practice doctors, social care and third sector organisations.

Priorities include carrying out place based inspections to ensure all services are ‘learning disability friendly’, making better use and increasing uptake of annual health checks and ensuring more joined up care across the range of health and care services.

Helen Jenkinson, Chief Nurse at NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG, said: “The launch of our strategic plan is the culmination of years of hard work to really understand how we can best support and care for those in our communities with learning disabilities. The measure of success will be seen over the next three years as we embed these priorities as key elements of business as usual across the range of partners in Birmingham and Solihull, and we encourage our patients and families to ensure they’re feeding back so we know what is and isn’t working.

“Ultimately our aim is to improve the healthcare of people with learning disabilities and to reduce early mortality, ensuring that the care we provide is seamless, joined up and high quality, specifically addressing their needs. We’re confident this new plan will support all of our health and social care organisations to work together to fundamentally improve the care we offer.”

Dr Angela Brady, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG, said: “Tackling health inequalities is a key part of the Birmingham and Solihull integrated care system model, and something our partners are passionately committed to. These new priorities are a key milestone for us and provide a solid foundation from which work can now really begin in all settings, including our hospitals and community providers. We absolutely must make an impact.”

A local LeDeR conference is scheduled for 11 June which will share Birmingham and Solihull’s key priorities to improve services for people with learning disabilities and their families. It is an opportunity to share good practice and to embed the priorities across Birmingham and Solihull.

The full plan can be viewed on the CCG website.

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