Last reviewed: April 2016 | Next review: Currently being reviewed
Our vision is a future where the health inequalities faced by people with a learning disability A learning disability is to do with the way someone's brain works. It makes it harder for someone to learn, understand or do things. are eliminated.
A future where all people with a learning disability have access to the same quality of physical and mental healthcare as everybody else.
This future sees an end to avoidable deaths of people with a learning disability, and the creation of a health system that fully meets their needs.
People with a learning disability face many health inequalities, often resulting in worse health than the general population.
On average, people with a learning disability die 16 years earlier than the general population, with approximately 1,200 people with a learning disability dying avoidably every year.
Download our health vision statement to print off and read.
Download the easy read Easy Read is a way of making written information easier to understand. Pictures are usually added next to the writing. version of our vision statement on health. It tells you what we think about people with a learning disability receiving the same quality of healthcare as everyone.
What we want
We want the health inequalities faced by people with a learning disability to be eliminated. For this to be possible we need:
- healthcare professionals to be trained in communicating effectively with people with a learning disability, making sure they understand the issues that affect them, and involving them and their families in any decisions made around their health
- tailored healthcare for people with a learning disability, where reasonable adjustments are made, their needs are understood and valued, and their rights Rights are the things everyone should be allowed to do like have a say, or go to school. are protected
- people with a learning disability to be supported to make healthy life choices - and all care staff should be trained to provide that support
- social factors like poverty - which negatively impact on the health of people with a learning disability - to be faced head on and reduced.
Studies show that there are many reasons for the health inequalities faced by people with a learning disability, including:
- higher risk of social factors, like poverty, that can affect health
- health professionals often have little or no training in learning disability, resulting in poor quality healthcare and reasonable adjustments not being made
- lower understanding of how to stay healthy, resulting in lifestyle-related issues, like being more over or under weight than the general population.
- higher risk of health conditions like epilepsy, diabetes, heart problems and mental health problems. If diagnosed early and properly treated, the effects of these conditions can be much less severe.
All of these problems have solutions, and we will not stop campaigning until people with a learning disability have access to equal healthcare.
Treat Me Well
Treat Me Well is our campaign to transform how the NHS treats people with a learning disability in hospital.
We know the treatment people with a learning disability get in hospital is still not good enough in many parts of the country. This has to change.