A report said that the estimated prevalence of autism (including Asperger's Syndrome) in school age children in Northern Ireland had increased by 67 per cent across all health and social care trusts between 2008-09 and 2013-14, from 1.2 per cent of the compulsory school age population to 2.0 per cent.
Source: The Prevalence of Autism (including Asperger's Syndrome) in School Age Children in Northern Ireland 2014, Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
An article examined the outcomes from utilizing a care pathway-based approach in a specialist intellectual disability inpatient unit. It said that the approach resulted in increased turnover of patients, increased capacity for unit admissions, reduced lengths of hospital stays, and timely assessments and treatments. It said that the approach provided better outcomes for patients, and was a means by which to achieve multi-agency working and accountability.
Source: John Devapriam, Regi Alexander, Rohit Gumber, Judith Pither, and Satheesh Gangadharan, 'Impact of care pathway-based approach on outcomes in a specialist intellectual disability inpatient unit', Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, Volume 18 Number 3
An article examined the use of city centre spaces by people with learning disabilities. It said that few of the study participants had independent access to the city centre, and many raised concerns over personal safety. When they did visit, most took people to support them and visited for pre-planned purposes. The article said that appropriate support was a prominent issue, and that there was a need to re-assess the meaning of social inclusion for people with learning disabilities.
Source: Alex McClimens, Nick Partridge, and Ed Sexton, 'How do people with learning disability experience the city centre? A Sheffield case study', Health and Place, Volume 28 Issue 1
A series of reports provided results from stage 2 of an evaluation of the special educational needs and disability (SEND) pathfinder programme. SEND was intended to provide personalized care and assistance through a continual birth-to-25 system, and was due to be implemented from September 2014. Reports from the pathfinder evaluation covered topics including: findings from the qualitative research conducted with 31 families who participated in the new education, health and care planning pathway (and received an EHC plan); understanding the comparative costs of providing the special educational needs (SEN) processes for newcomers to the SEN system; collaborative working with the health sector; collaborative working with the social care sector; engagement of schools; and the transition to post-16 provision and engagement of providers in that sector.
Source: Lucy Smith, Genevieve Cameron, and Tim Vanson, Evaluation of the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Pathfinder Programme ï¿½ Impact Research Report: Qualitative research with families (second cohort), Research Report 356A, Department for Education
Source: Meera Craston, Christopher Carr, Rhian Spivack, and Graham Thom, Evaluation of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Pathfinder Programme: Understanding the comparative costs of delivering the EHC planning and SEN Statementing processes for newcomers to the SEN system, Research Report 356B, Department for Education
Source: Meera Craston, Tarran Macmillan, Kathryn Hill, and Christopher Carr, Evaluation of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Pathfinder Programme ï¿½ Thematic Report: Collaborative working with health, Research Report 356C, Department for Education
Source: Rhian Spivack, Meera Craston, and Rachel Redman, Evaluation of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Pathfinder Programme ï¿½ Thematic Report: Collaborative working with social care, Research Report 356D, Department for Education
Source: Kathryn Hill, Graham Thom, Christopher Carr, and Maya Agur, Evaluation of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Pathfinder Programme ï¿½ Thematic Report: Engagement of schools, Research Report 356E, Department for Education
Source: Graham Thom, Maya Agur, and Kerry Daff, Evaluation of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Pathfinder Programme ï¿½ Thematic Report: Transition and the engagement of post-16 providers, Research Report 356F, Department for Education
A paper provided an overview of transition planning services provided to young people with learning disabilities as they moved from children's services to adult services in Great Britain, outlining the relevant legislation and policy in England, Scotland, and Wales and highlighting a number of national and local transition planning projects.
Source: Lynda Conlon, Transition Planning for Young People with Learning Disabilities in Great Britain, Research Paper 65/14, Northern Ireland Assembly
A paper examined the post-secondary support provided in England, Wales, and Scotland for people with learning disabilities.
Source: Eoin Murphy and Martin McTaggart, Post-Secondary Support for People with Learning Disabilities in Great Britain, Research Report 66/14, Northern Ireland Assembly
A report examined a project undertaken by a police force in south west England to stop hate crime against, and develop better support for, people with learning disabilities.
Source: Nikki Henderson and Tina Feather, Action Learning for Change: South Devon learning disability report, Devon and Cornwall Police
The Northern Ireland Executive began consultation on proposals to to give effect to a major recommendation of the Bamford Review into mental health and learning disability services by providing a new, single, legislative framework governing all situations where a decision needed to be made in relation to the care, treatment, or personal welfare of a person aged 16 or over who lacked capacity to make the decision for themselves. The document discussed the draft provisions relating to civil society, and outlined a proposed approach for people within the criminal justice system. The consultation would close on 2 September 2014.
Source: Draft Mental Capacity Bill (NI): Consultation document, Northern Ireland Executive
A report examined the prevalence of mental health conditions and intellectual disability in the United Kingdom, their relationship with physical health, and the actions needed to reduce disparities in morbidity and mortality among the group of people with such conditions, compared with the rest of the population. It called for a range of changes, including: a national mortality review system; better prevention and early intervention strategies for mental health; enhanced training and workforce planning to improve the quality of care; more joined-up care, particularly through improving commissioning and delivery processes; and greater research focus on mental-physical multi-morbidity.
Source: Recognising the Importance of Physical Health in Mental Health and Intellectual Disability: Achieving parity of outcomes, British Medical Association
A report examined liaison and diversion services in police stations and courts that aimed to identify and support people with mental health problems, learning difficulties, and other vulnerabilities, drawing on research with staff, service users, and partners in four liaison and diversion schemes in different areas of England. It said that most users of the services had at least moderate mental health problems and most had come into contact with the liaison services after committing offences. The past histories of the service users showed missed opportunities for intervention, and people had additional needs for help with issues such as housing, personal finances (including debt), benefits, and employment. It said that staff were knowledgeable and client-focussed, and good services linked with a range of organizations to build support packages, offered case management for people while they put support in place, and stayed in touch with people after they had moved on to other services. The report summarised the key aspects of successful services, and made a range of recommendations for service providers and commissioners.
Source: Graham Durcan, Keys to Diversion: Best practice for offenders with multiple needs, Centre for Mental Health
A report examined the mental health of people with learning disabilities. Drawing on a survey, it reported a range of findings and recommendations, including that: people with learning disabilities said that they did not feel believed, listened to, or supported when they felt down, and wanted to have more control around their mental health; family members and friends had reported difficulties in accessing support and specialist referrals, to the detriment of people's well-being; professionals had said that not enough was being done to support the mental health needs of people with learning disabilities; and that mental health services needed to improve and to make reasonable adjustments to ensure access.
Source: Christine-Koulla Burke, Feeling Down: Improving the mental health of people with learning disabilities, Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities
The Welsh Government began consultation on proposals to introduce a new legislative framework for supporting children and young people with additional learning needs, including: changes to the processes of assessment, planning, and monitoring; the provision of information and advice; and provision for resolving concerns and appeals. The consultation would close on 25 July 2014.
Source: Legislative Proposals for Additional Learning Needs, WG21275, Welsh Government
Links: White paper
An article examined carer-led health interventions, and the potential roles for carers in monitoring, promoting, and improving healthcare for people with intellectual disabilities. Drawing on a rapid review of the literature, it said the evidence suggested that carers for people without such disabilities had successfully delivered a range of interventions. However, there was little evidence directly related to people with intellectual disabilities.
Source: Rosalyn Hithersay, Andre Strydom, Gwen Moulster, and Marta Buszewicz, 'Carer-led health interventions to monitor, promote and improve the health of adults with intellectual disabilities in the community: a systematic review', Research in Developmental Disabilities, Volume 35 Issue 4
An article reported on a study of how people conducted research that 'mattered' to people with learning disabilities, and that involved them and their views and experiences.
Source: Melanie Nind and Hilra Vinha, 'Doing research inclusively: bridges to multiple possibilities in inclusive research', British Journal of Learning Disabilities, Volume 42 Issue 2
An article examined the evidence base underpinning the strategy of self-directed support, and whether this policy was accessible to everyone with a learning disability. Very few studies pertained specifically to people with learning disabilities, and little account had been taken of their range of ability or the distinction between adults with legal capacity and those without. Self-directed support was not, as yet, attainable for everyone with a learning disability: but those able to access it had reported an improvement in their quality of life.
Source: Mary Anne Harkes, Michael Brown, and Dorothy Horsburgh, 'Self directed support and people with learning disabilities: a review of the published research evidence', British Journal of Learning Disabilities, Volume 42 Issue 2
A report examined the delivery of care in residential services for children and young people, residential services and supported housing for people with learning disabilities, and hospice care, and considered how learning from those settings might be applied in care homes for older people.
Source: Liz Burtney, Davina Figgett, Deirdre Fullerton, Paul Buchanan, Karen Stevens, and Madeline Cooper-Ueki, Learning for Care Homes from Alternative Residential Care Settings, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
A report provided further findings from the 2013 Learning Disability Census. The census was undertaken following recommendations arising from the Winterbourne View Hospital inquiry, and provided an individual record-level snapshot of inpatients with learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorder and/or behaviour that challenges, and the services they received, for service users who were inpatients in National Health Service and independent services.
Source: Learning Disabilities Census Report ï¿½ Further analysis, Health and Social Care Information Centre
An article examined factors influencing the implementation of reasonably adjusted healthcare services for patients with intellectual disabilities in acute National Health Service hospitals in England. It said that strategies that supported the implementation of reasonable adjustments did not reliably translate into consistent provision, and concluded that ward culture, staff attitudes, and staff knowledge were crucial to accessible provision. The authors recommended further research.
Source: Irene Tuffrey-Wijne, Lucy Goulding, Nikoletta Giatras, Elisabeth Abraham, Steve Gillard, Sarah White, Christine Edwards, and Sheila Hollins, 'The barriers to and enablers of providing reasonably adjusted health services to people with intellectual disabilities in acute hospitals: evidence from a mixed-methods study', BMJ Open, Volume 4 Issue 4
An article examined the self-rated health of adults with intellectual disability in Britain, drawing on data from the Life Opportunities Survey and Understanding Society. It said that they reported significantly poorer self-rated health than their peers without intellectual disability, and that they were significantly more likely to be exposed to socio-economic disadvantage, discrimination, and violence.
Source: Eric Emerson, Janet Robertson, Susannah Baines, and Chris Hatton, 'The self-rated health of British adults with intellectual disability', Research in Developmental Disabilities, Volume 35 Issue 3
An article examined findings from the Confidential Inquiry into premature deaths of people with intellectual disabilities in England. It said that there were health disparities between people with and without intellectual disabilities, and that the research had evidenced the contribution to those disparities of factors related to care and health service provision.
Source: Pauline Heslop, Peter Blair, Peter Fleming, Matthew Hoghton, Anna Marriott, and Lesley Russ, 'The Confidential Inquiry into premature deaths of people with intellectual disabilities in the UK: a population-based study', The Lancet Volume 383, Number 9920
An article examined the impact of the United Kingdom government White Paper, Valuing People, on the availability of mundane choices for people with learning difficulties. It said that, although individuals appeared able to make an increased range of decisions, these were sometimes based on a limited menu of options. The article discussed the implications for autonomy, and argued that a lack of control in mundane choices disempowered people and led to learned passivity.
Source: Andrea Hollomotz, 'Are we valuing people's choices now? Restrictions to mundane choices made by adults with learning difficulties', British Journal of Social Work, Volume 44 Number 2
The inspectorates of probation, the police service, the Crown Prosecution Service, and social care said that the needs of many people with learning disabilities were not recognized when they were arrested by police, went to court, or were sentenced. The report said that: the screening at arrest stage was not effective; a lack of knowledge and training meant that needs went unmet; offenders with learning disabilities often did not receive the support they required to reduce their risk of harm to others or their likelihood of reoffending; pre-sentence reports were not always based on appropriate assessment of risks and needs; and the Crown Prosecution Service was often not made aware of the offender's learning disability. The report made recommendations across the criminal justice system and health services.
Source: A Joint Inspection of the Treatment of Offenders with Learning Disabilities Within the Criminal Justice System: Phase 1 from arrest to sentence, HM Inspectorate of Probation/HM Inspectorate of Constabulary/HM Crown Prosecution Inspectorate/Care Quality Commission
An article examined the links between learning disabilities and employment, drawing on interview-based research. It analyzed the quality of experience of the minority in employment to consider whether employment could serve the inclusive purpose expected of it. The rate of employment for people with learning difficulties remained extremely low and had barely changed in the 20 years between 1990 and 2010.
Source: Lee Anderson Humber, 'Social inclusion through employment: the marketisation of employment support for people with learning disabilities in the United Kingdom', Disability & Society, Volume 29 Number 2