OUT NOW: Identifying a range of approaches in health equalities – Reducing, measuring and responding to health inequalities experienced by people with learning disabilities…… a multidimensional overview of projects supported by HEE working across KSS

We all recognise, with great sadness, that people with learning disabilities experience many different types of inequalities and are dying far too early. We all agree that this is unacceptable and needs to change now (This has also been greatly emphasised through the Annual LeDeR report in 2018).

In Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trusts (KCHFT) Adult learning disabilities service (ALDS) we asked ourselves the following questions:

  • What’s the best tool to measure inequalities?
  • Can these tool be used by our teams confidently and look at issues like validity?
  • What are community learning disability teams (not just ours) skills expectations and forecasted training needs around meeting peoples current inequalities 
  • What is our data from Health Equality Framework (HEF) and public health information telling us and our training needs analysis telling us?
  • Can we reduce inequalities by training staff who directly work with people in using an anticipatory care calendar (ACC)?

Following a lot of hard work by the project team, project group and everyone who supported these projects we found out that:

  • We identified that the HEF was not just an important tool to use to determine health inequalities it was also a reliable and valid tool compared with other outcome measures to use with people with learning disabilities. We agreed we would continue to use this
  • We have identified that community teams should focus on developing expert competencies and skills for meeting people’s needs around
    • Dysphagia
    • Managing Risk
    • Communication

And for all services (acute, primary etc) not having robust plans for people to have LD awareness and skills in these areas (along many others) we will only continue to exacerbate and amplify the impact inequalities for people with learning disabilities

  • The ACC project identified that it was a life-saving tool with the potential of reducing premature deaths. The project raised some functional problems with the training of ACC that the developer have worked through because of the project, and the project has raised a significantly greater awareness of the Anticipatory Care Calendar across Kent.

These project have demonstrated for us in Kent the value of using a range of approaches when measuring, and tackling health inequalities for people – and that these work better together

I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who worked on the project and Health Education England working across Kent, Surrey and Sussex (HEEKSS) for funding and appreciation to the KCHFT Project Team: Shane Webber, Sue Marsden, Megan Hare, Jade Harrison and all the practitioners and administrators from the Adult Learning Disability Service who contributed to this project

Click here to access all the related reports along with an easy read summary

The Anticipatory Care Calendar report and easy read summary will be coming soon  

Matt Dodwell
Head of Service – Learning Disabilities
Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust
m.dodwell@nhs.net
www.kentcht.nhs.uk

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