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BASW responds to LeDeR annual report

The LeDer report continues to highlight the severity of concerns regarding health inequalities for those with learning disabilities

BASW has responded to this week’s publication of the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) Programme’s 2018 annual report, which indicate ongoing concerns about the premature deaths of people with learning disabilities.

This is the third annual report of the LeDeR programme (which is available here) and the first national programme of its kind in the world.

This year's report details that policies relating to the care and support of people with learning disabilities still require strengthening.

Between 1 July 2016 and 31 December 2018, 4,302 deaths were notified to the programme. Amongst several key findings, the report highlighted that by 31 December 2018, 25% (1,081) of deaths notified had been reviewed by local areas in England.

Furthermore, adults with learning disabilities from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups appear to be under-represented in notifications of deaths.

Commenting on the report, BASW England national director, Maris Stratulis, said: “The LeDer report continues to highlight the severity of concerns regarding health inequalities for those with learning disabilities – this has been a key theme in BASW England’s recent work developing a Capability Statement for Social Work with Adults who have Learning Disabilities.

“The report highlights the fundamental impact that ‘diagnostic over shadowing’ has on people’s lives and BASW England wholeheartedly supports the need to overcome the existence of societal and discriminatory attitudes towards people with learning disabilities.  

“Furthermore, it is appalling in this day and age that the disparity in age of death for people with learning disabilities and the general population is 23 years for males and 27 years for females.

“We fully endorse the recommendations of the report and highlight the importance of improved service and care co-ordination, transition planning and the need for a consistent national statement across education, health and social care.”