Turning Point's Fiona Ritchie asks: When will people with learning disabilities get the support and life chances the rest of us take for granted?

News item posted: 10 December 2015

In response to reports today linked to patients with learning disabilities, Fiona Ritchie, Managing Director for Learning Disability at Turning Point said:

'Today's coverage of the yet to be published report by NHS England on patient deaths is a shocking, yet sadly unsurprising reflection of a health service that continues to give people with learning disabilities less input, thought, time and support than others.

'Despite improved community provision and recent moves to improve models of care, people with learning disabilities are still dying too early, not receiving the health interventions they need or the respect they deserve when it comes to their end of life care. Although this draft report only focuses on one Trust, we heard only recently that elsewhere Do Not Resuscitate Orders are being added to files of people with learning disabilities without families giving their consent.

'How long and to what extent does tragedy have to continue before major reform is implemented? There are clearly failures across the whole health system which need to be urgently addressed to ensure people with mental health conditions and those with learning disabilities get the support and life chances the rest of us take for granted.'