Government’s response to the Confidential Inquiry into premature deaths of people with learning disabilities

News item posted: 04 April 2014

Responding to the Government's response to the Confidential Inquiry into premature deaths of people with learning disabilities, Fiona Ritchie, Turning Point's Managing Director for Learning Disability services said;

"We welcome the Government's intention to support named healthcare coordinators and look at developing best practice guidelines for treatment via NHS England and the new clinical lead for learning disabilities. We also look forward to hearing more on the recommendations that are still being discussed, such as introducing patient-held records.

It goes without saying that far more still needs to be done to improve treatment and care for people with learning disabilities, but a sense of urgency through a clear timetable to improve the shocking and unacceptable standards that the study outlined was unfortunately absent from the Government's response.

A significant opportunity has also been missed in the Government's reluctance to establish a National Learning Disability Mortality Review Body. Such an investigative body could have gone a long way to ensure that failures in care are not repeated. People with learning disabilities must receive the same standard of treatment as anyone else. They must also receive the same level of commitment from the Government to act on such failures."