Report: Local Support for People with a Learning Disability

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has published its report into Local Support for People with a Learning Disability  There are an estimated 930,000 adults with a learning disability in England, 129,000 of whom receive local authority social care support. There are approximately 2,500 people with a learning disability who are living in mental health hospitals.

The Committee is "concerned that support for people with a learning disability who live in the community is patchy; there are significant local variations but, on average, fewer than 6% of people with a learning disability are in employment and only 23% of people with a learning disability are registered as such with their GPs. There needs to be a greater focus on measuring outcomes and improvements to the quality of life from the £8 billion central and local government spend each year on this support."

One of the recommendations is that the Department set out a cross-government strategy for improving access to health care and opportunities to participate in the community, including employment, as well as how it will measure the effectiveness of this strategy.

Employment rates for people with a learning disability have been going down in recent years and the majority of those people in employment are working less than 16 hours per week.  In fact, BASE, in it's response to the Improving Lives Green Paper, highlighted the need for "a coordinated cross-government approach to achieve significant increases in the employment rates of people who have a disability and long-term health condition ".  BASE has been working with the Department Of Work & Pensions (DWP) to address disinvestment within local authorities by designing a proof of concept trial with local authorities that funds the outcomes achieved through local commissioning.