The NHS has a crucial role to play in helping people with a learning disability, autism or both lead longer, happier and healthier lives.
Our NHS Long Term Plan aims to improve people’s health by making sure they receive timely and appropriate health checks, while improving the level of awareness and understanding across the NHS of how best to support them as patients.
More people with complex needs will be supported to live fulfilling lives at home rather than in hospital, while thousands will be offered a personal health budget, giving them choice over the type of support they need to live the life they choose.
What we will do
- Improve community-based support so that people can lead lives of their choosing in homes not hospitals; further reducing our reliance on specialist hospitals, and strengthening our focus on children and young people
- Develop a clearer and more widespread focus on the needs of autistic people and their families, starting with autistic children with the most complex needs
- Make sure that all NHS commissioned services are providing good quality health, care and treatment to people with a learning disability and autistic people and their families. NHS staff will be supported to make the changes needed (reasonable adjustments) to make sure people with a learning disability and autistic people get equal access to, experience of and outcomes from care and treatment
- Reduce health inequalities, improving uptake of annual health checks, reducing over-medication through the Stopping The Over-Medication of children and young People with a learning disability, autism or both (STOMP) and Supporting Treatment and Appropriate Medication in Paediatrics (STAMP) programmes and taking action to prevent avoidable deaths through learning from deaths reviews (LeDeR)
- Continue to champion the insight and strengths of people with lived experience and their families in all of our work and become a model employer of people with a learning disability and of autistic people
- Make sure that the whole NHS has an awareness of the needs of people with a learning disability and autistic people, working together to improve the way it cares, supports, listens to, works with and improves the health and wellbeing of them and their families.
Putting it into practice – mental health, social care and education services working together
In London, ‘The Ealing Intensive Therapeutic and Short Breaks Service’ has been supporting children, young people and their families so that they don’t need to go into hospital.
To make this work health, mental health, social care and education services are all in one building where they work together to do what is needed so that children and young people with a learning disability can stay living at home when they need extra support or treatment.
View our other learning disabilities and autism case studies, which show how we are making health and care services better for people with a learning disability, autism or both.
Find out more
See what the NHS Long Term Plan says about learning disabilities and autism.