We were delighted when in June 2018, the Welsh Government published the Improving Lives Programme, part of their Prosperity for All strategy, which had begun in 2017. The remit was to examine how services for people with a learning disability could be strengthened, to improve their lives and address inequalities where they exist.
Improving Lives focused on improving services in five key areas:
- early years
- social care
- education, skills and employment
The area of most concern to us was health, and the desired outcomes:
- To reduce health inequalities for people with a learning disability and reduce avoidable and premature deaths through early intervention, prevention & accessible services.
- To improve secondary care services and diagnostic overshadowing to reduce health inequalities, premature and avoidable deaths.
- To increase wellbeing, community engagement and quality of life for people with a learning disability.
- Meeting specialist health care needs throughout the lifespan to ensure a good quality of life.
We continue to work extremely hard, and to campaign so that the desired outcomes become the norm. This includes ensuring that reasonable adjustments are made for people with a learning disability through using care bundles, having LD champions, system flagging and increasing the number of learning disability liaison nurses across Wales.