Health Charter: Learning disability providers challenged to tackle health inequalities

Pledge to improve health and tackle health inequalities

People with learning disabilities have worse health that the general population. The Confidential Inquiry into Premature Deaths of People with Learning Disabilities found on average men die 13 years earlier and women 20 years earlier that the general population. 42% of the deaths considered were premature.

Much can be done by social care providers, working together with people with learning disabilities, family carers and their health colleagues to improve the situation. Differences in health status are to an extent avoidable, and as such represent health inequalities.

In response VODG, National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTI) and strategic partners developed the health charter to support providers to improve the wellbeing of people with learning disabilities with the aim of reducing inequalities in health and social care.

The health charter provides key principles and guidance to improve the health and well-being of people with learning disabilities, and therefore improve people’s quality of life. It is aimed at adult social care providers and staff, who have an important role in helping people access good healthcare and lead a healthy lifestyle.

1. Download the health charter

The health charter consists of a series of pledges giving organisations a clear framework for improving practice. An easy read version is available here.

2. Download the guidance document

The guidance document explains each of the charter’s statements and why they are important, with case examples and links to useful resources for each. The guidance begins with who should sign-up and how to implement the charter.

3. Download the self-assessment tool

The self-assessment tool help to reflect on how well organisations are s doing in relation to each of the key statements of the health charter. For each statement, there are questions to consider and work work through with people from different parts of the organisation. It is not necessary to undertake all of the assessment in one go; it can be up to make it more manageable.

Over 140 organisations have pledged to tackle health inequalities by using the health charter. 

Aspire Living

Townfield and Coach House Care LTD

Fylde Community Link

The Regard group

PossAbilities CQC

Butterfields Care

The Vicarage (2008) Ltd

Affinity Trust (Suffolk)

Suffolk County Council

Suffolk County Council

Thera South Midlands

Thera - South-West

Thera - East Midlands

South Glos Gov

Cambian Group

Choice Support

imap centre

Centre 404

Frances Taylor Foundation -Liverpool Adult Services

Thera East Anglia

Woodcraft for Landscapes Ltd


West Lancs Peer Support Ltd

Encompass (Dorchester)


Embracing care

Heritage Care

Clear Vision Care Services

Access Community Services Ltd


Countrywide Care Homes


Craegmoor Supporting You

Affinity Supporting People

Shared Approach

Rayson Homes Limited


One to One

16 Derby Crescent



Essential Care and Support

Oswald House Care Home Ltd

Creative Support - Calderdale


Edgar Street Residential Home

United Response

Popular Care Ltd

The Oaklea Trust

The Huntercombe Group


Flexible Support Options Ltd

Danshell Group

Creative Support


City Care Partnership

Radian Support


Pendle Support

Specialist Care Team Ltd

The Integration Trust Ltd

Linday Medicare Services Enterprise Ltd

Real Life Options

Valerie Hall Domiciliary Care

West Wood Care Group Limited

Your Life Care and Support Ltd

Care Housing Association

UK Supported Living

Le Moors

North East Autism Society

Commmunity Integrated Care




Brandon Trust


Natural Breaks

West Lancs Positive Living

Deaconstar Ltd

Accept Care

Papworth Trust

Highlea Care Limited

Durham Careline

A&L Bellis Care and Support


Sunnyfield Support Services

Ormerod Trust

Highfield Scheme

Alliance Care and Support

Aspire Health Care Ltd

Spire (Preston) Ltd

Moorland Care Homes

Haven Group

Linkability Charity Ltd


St Anne's Community Services

Allswell Lodge

Castle Supported Living Ltd

Ridleys, Plymouth Guild

Thera North


Fieldbay Ltd

The Grange Centre


Your Life Care and Support Ltd

Derwent Care Limited


Creative Support

Autism Care UK

Outreach 3 way

RoCCS Residential Community Care Services

Chatsworth Care

North East Autism Society

Brighton and Hove City Council


Voyage Care

North West Community Services Ltd




Hands of Hope

City Care Partnership

Arundel Care Services

Bond Care Group

Haswell & District Mencap


Autism Hampshire

New Prospects Association

Heritage Care

Affinity Supporting People

Edward Lloyd Trust

Chescombe Trust

Pendle Support & Care Services

Scenario Management

GS Social Care Solutions Ltd



Home Focus


Care Management Group

Swanton Care & Community

Bournville Village Trust


VODG encourages all learning disability organisations to take up the health charter and help create real change. As more providers and staff adopt the principles and checks contained in the charter there is a better chance of closing the health inequality gap experienced by people with learning disabilities.

Our health charter in practice guide sets out key outcomes and advice from organisations already using the practical support which can be used to:

  • establish a clear commitment to addressing health inequalities
  • deliver an important message to commissioners that health and wellbeing is a priority
  • support regulatory compliance
  • drive improvements in services, set strategic goals and organisational responsibilities
  • support the duty – included in the Care Act – to promote wellbeing.

Sign up here

The Health Charter project is funded through the voluntary sector strategic partner programme which is backed by the department of health, NHS England, NHS England and public Health England. The grant is held between VODG and the National Care Forum.