VODG statement on the publication of Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR)

The premature deaths of people with a learning disability highlighted by the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review continues to report a national scandal. Just over half of the reviews completed in 2018 found that the person with a learning disability had been failed in some way by the services they rely on to keep them well. We still have a long way to go for people with a learning disability who have the same right to enjoy a healthy life as anyone else. All agencies responsible for severe health inequalities will be judged harshly until urgent action is taken to tackle unconscious bias and prejudice that exists within some services.

The findings are accompanied by NHS England and NHS Improvement’s own Action from Learning report. It outlines the activities undertaken so far to reduce health inequalities and premature mortality amongst people with a learning disability.

We know that there are effective measures that can prevent avoidable deaths. Good practice does exist. VODG believes that health, social care and education providers all have an important role to play in improving health outcomes for disabled people. Together they can challenge the attitudes and perceptions that put up barriers to improving people’s lives.