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'Inconsistent' and 'damaging' learning disability services
Tuesday 22 December 2009
CQC review finds mixed outcomes at learning disability services
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published a national report on specialist in-patient services for people with a learning disability.
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In 2007, the CQC carried out its first national audit of in-patient services for people with a learning disability. For its follow-up report, the CQC assessed 43 NHS and independent services. Between September 2008 and January 2009 the services were visited by a clinician, a person with a learning disability or family carer and an assessor.
The CQC found that services for people with a learning disability were "at best inconsistent and at worst damaging."
The report found that in most services, people do not have choice about who they live with or who provides their support. It found that 27 of the services assessed provided no access to advocacy services, and that very few people could engage in health action planning or person-centred planning.
However, the report recognised that improvements had been made in some areas, such as supporting contact for individuals with friends and families.
The CQC has recommended that healthcare providers and NHS trusts should justify the care, treatment and assessment they provide, and ensure that it meets with national guidance. It also says that NHS trusts should have a non-executive learning disability champion, and that learning disability partnership boards should work with people with a learning disability and families to involve them in health organisation audits.
The report on in-patient services was published alongside the CQC's five-year plan for learning disability services. The plan sets its strategies for improving the health and social care of people with a learning disability and their families.
Read the CQC reports