Health Charter: practical new resource launched to support the wellbeing of people with learning disabilities


The second edition of a guide which explains how the health charter can be used by social care providers has now been published.

This practical new resource supports the wellbeing of people with learning disabilities and aims to reduce inequalities in healthcare which were highlighted in a recent report.

The new edition 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.

Michaela Hopps, Tees Esk Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust team lead, specialist health team said:
“The Care Act firmly places the emphasis on wellbeing, and care providers have a legal duty to anticipate health needs and act accordingly to avoid delays in care and treatment. The health charter is an invaluable tool for us to identify gaps in service through self-assessment and determine priorities for care delivery.”

Social care provider Vibrance is using the charter in the supporting the complex health needs of a 64-year-old woman with learning disabilities. Jean Jay, Director of Development said:
“Signing up to the health charter has been of help to the Vibrance staff team when supporting someone with complex health needs who decided not to have treatment for cancer. They ensured that the person concerned had all the information needed to make an informed choice about her illness, the options and the consequences of her decisions, and are working with the health team and MacMillan Cancer Support service to ensure she gets the best possible support.”

This development of the health charter has been funded through the voluntary sector strategic partner programme which is backed by the Department of Health, NHS England and Public Health England. The grant is held between VODG and the National Care Forum.

Download the report here.