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Call for local authorities and health boards to do more for people with learning disabilities

Ourselves and Healthcare Inspectorate Wales have published the findings of our national inspection of care and support for people with learning disabilities.

Ourselves and Healthcare Inspectorate Wales have today challenged local authorities and Health Boards to improve the planning and delivery of services for people with learning disabilities. 

Together we delivered a lengthy national inspection programme in six local authorities (LAs) and local health boards, to see how services were planned and delivered for people in those local authority areas.

Together we have also produced an all-Wales report, asking all local authority areas in Wales to improve their offer and way of working, so that people with learning disabilities can make sure they can achieve the outcomes that matter to them.

Today, a lunch will be held at iSmooth, a Mencap Cymru social enterprise in Ammanford to mark the publication of the reports. The Inspectorates will meet with local authority and health board representatives as well as advocacy / involvement groups who took part in the fieldwork and research for the National Inspection including All Wales People First and The All Wales Forum of Parents.

About the inspection

The inspectorates visited Gwynedd, Conwy, Torfaen, Pembrokeshire, Merthyr and Bridgend to assess the quality and safety of care and support provided to adult people with learning disabilities. The inspection looked at what is working well as well as the barriers and areas for improvement. Inspectors focused on a number areas including support for carers, whether LAs provide information, advice and assistance and whether or not LAs have good leadership and governance arrangements.

Chief Inspector, Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales,  Imelda Richardson said:

This is a pivotal moment for local authorities to rise to the challenge and take forward the spirit of the new Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act.  We know from our fieldwork and engagement with people and families that they expect to be involved in the decisions and planning about the services they use.

We need to ensure that local authorities and health boards have a clear direction and purpose for people with learning disabilities if we are to ensure that our services are responsive to the needs of people.

The effectiveness of the services people receive often relies on the tenacity of the family and carers involved and the commitment of the hard-working support and health staff – but we need to do more so that everyone gets the care and support they need.

People want and deserve active support and help to get the most out of life.  Today’s reports show what needs to be done in order to make this a reality.

Chief Executive, Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, Kate Chamberlain, said:

The joint delivery of this inspection has provided the opportunity to assess how well local authorities and health boards work together to plan and deliver services for people with learning disabilities. We saw some good examples of joint working on the ground, achieving positive outcomes for people. It is clear that on a strategic level, local authorities and health boards need to have a clearer vision for these services based on a greater understanding of the current and future needs of people with learning disabilities.

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