Learning Disabilities

Adult people with learning disabilities have a wide range of social and health care needs. They will also have needs caused by social exclusion, including poverty, lack of housing and unemployment. Adults will be considered to have a learning disability (LD) if they meet any of the following conditions:

  • when a child they were identified within education services as having a Special Educational Need (SEN)
  • when a child and as an adult they typically scored lower than two standard deviations below the mean on a validated test of general cognitive functioning (equivalent to an IQ score of less than 70) or general development
  • they attended a special school or unit for children with difficulty
  • they have been identified as having learning disabilities on locally held disability registers (including the registers held by GP practices)
  • they self-report having difficulties in literacy and numeracy and there is good evidence to suggest that they have had these difficulties since childhood
  • they screen positive for learning disabilities using a validated screening test (Learning Disability Observatory 2013).

In Derby, the Local Authority and GP practice registers of those with a LD are comparable.

The Learning Disabilities Observatory (a collaboration between Public Health England, the Centre for Disability Research at the University of Lancaster, and the National Development Team for Inclusion) has published a local Learning Disabilities Profile that can be accessed from their ‘Improving Health and Lives’ website.

Of note in Derby are:

  • the higher number of adults with learning disability known to GPs
  • higher number of adults (18 to 64) with LD known to the Council
  • lower number of children with moderate LD known to schools
  • higher number of children with profound and multiple LD known to schools
  • lower number of children with LD known to school.

In relation to health Derby achieves a significantly better outcome of eligible adults with a learning disability having a GP health check; significantly better (lower) admission rate for non-psychiatric ambulatory care sensitive conditions in people with LD; significantly better at identifying people with LD in general hospital statistics. In terms of accommodation and social care the rate of adults (18-64) with a LD using day services is lower than average, as is the rate of adults receiving community services. There is also a higher rate of adults with a LD receiving direct payments in Derby.

The percentage of adults with learning disabilities in employment in Derby is low compared to comparator averages (see table below), with 5% of service users in employment. The proportion of adults with learning disabilities living in their own home or with family is 70% in Derby which is slightly less than the national average at 73%.

Social Care Chart 2

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