Learning disabilities mortality review 'makes for grim reading'

By Agencies
May 6, 2018

The Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) 2017 was published on 4 May 2018. From 1 July 2016 to 30 November 2017, 1,311 deaths were notified to the LeDeR programme. The most frequent role of those notifying a death was Learning Disability Nurse (25 per cent), most commonly working in a Community Learning Disabilities Team.

The average age at death of people with learning disabilities was 59 for males and 56 for females. More than a quarter (28 per cent) of deaths were of people aged under 50 years. People with profound or multiple disabilities had an average age of death of 41 years. Those with mild or moderate learning disabilities had an average age at death of 63 years.

The proportion of people with learning disabilities who died in hospital was greater (64 per cent) than the proportion of hospital deaths in the general population (47 per cent). Younger people with learning disabilities were more likely to die in hospital than were older people (76 per cent of those under 24 years of age compared with 63 per cent of those aged 65 and over); those with profound or multiple learning disabilities were more likely to die in hospital (71 per cent) than other people with learning disabilities (59 per cent).

Kamran Mallick, Chief Executive of Disability Rights UK said, “This review makes for grim reading but few surprises – if you’re learning disabled, you’re more likely to die much younger than your family, friends and neighbours who don’t happen to be learning disabled.

“The challenge remains to see a cultural shift in the way learning disabled people are treated so they get better support when it comes to health and social care.

“It’s hard to see how this will happen when the Department of Health and NHS England seem so disinterested [sic] in tackling the systemic discrimination that learning-disabled people face when it comes to getting the services they need.

“We’re tired of reports which set out the stark realities of living – and dying – if you have a learning disability in our society. We need to see some real action and real change, and commitment from politicians and organisations to drive the recommendations made in the report. It’s time to stop treating learning disabled people as third-class citizens.”

* Read the report here and an easy read version here

* Healthcare Quality Improvement Programme https://www.hqip.org.uk/

* Disability Rights UK https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/

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