09 Nov 2019

Social care providers encouraged to unite to tackle health inequalities in learning disability services

The health of people with learning disabilities is worse than that of the general population with common health problems including respiratory disease, heart disease and obesity.

People with learning disabilities die earlier than the general population. Many of the health inequalities experienced by people with a learning disability are preventable. Social care providers have a major role to play in helping people to access good healthcare and to support people to make decisions about their lifestyle.

VODG is committed to tackling health inequalities experienced by disabled people. With the support of NHS England and NHS Improvement VODG is organising a series of three national conferences for social care leaders who want to improve the health of people with learning disabilities. Social care providers are being encouraged to actively work alongside VODG and system partners to collectively make a difference to people’s lives.

Rhidian Hughes, chief executive of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group said:

“Reducing health inequalities is an urgent matter. These events offer social care providers the opportunity to work together to collectively improve practice and to support system wide efforts to tackle health inequalities.”

VODG recently published in partnership with the Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Lancaster a good practice guide on food and drink provision when supporting people using care services. The report recognises that sustained change involves addressing organisational cultures and personal attitudes as well as embedding a focus on supporting people to eat high quality food.


Leading for better health is a conference for leaders who want to explore how to foster organisational cultures, systems and practices that reduce health inequalities.

Date: Thursday 3 October 2019

Location: London

Click here to register for London.Learning from LeDeR (the Learning Disability Mortality Review) will examine what we can learn from the LeDeR findings and explore the practical steps social care providers can take to prevent early deaths.

Date: Thursday 5 December 2019

Location: Leeds

Click here to register for Leeds.Staying healthy will showcase a wide range of health and wellbeing initiatives and explore some of the dilemmas providers face when seeking to balance choice with the drive to support people to lead active and healthy lives.

Date: Thursday 6 February 2020

Location: Birmingham

Click here to register for Birmingham