The LeDeR annual report is yet another publication highlighting the stark inequalities experienced by people with a learning disability and, disappointingly, its findings suggest that the situation is not improving, with women dying 27 years younger than the general population and men dying 23 years younger.
Action to improve health services for people with a learning disability has been needed urgently for far too long. It is unacceptable that 8% of people reviewed by LeDeR experienced care so poor it significantly impacted on their well-being or contributed to their death.
Dimensions is not alone in pushing for a proper, systemic response to the inequality experienced by people with learning disability. Through #MyGPandMe we have highlighted people’s rights to reasonable adjustments and have trained surgeries to meet the needs of patients.
This includes decision making around DNARs and it is deeply concerning that DNACPRs are being placed on people because they have a learning disability or downs syndrome. We welcome the recommendation for further scrutiny around this issue. Examples such as this underline the entrenched inequality that exists in health services, not simply in the design and accessibility of services, but in their attitudes as well.