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Pembrokeshire learning disabilities service working to ensure people’s voices are heard – report

The learning disabilities service was inspected by us in March this year.

Without exception, people with learning disabilities, their families and staff said leaders were accessible and sought their views on a strategy for people with learning disabilities, inspectors found.

In December 2015 Pembrokeshire local authority was part of our joint national inspection of care and support for adults with learning disabilities with Healthcare Inspectorate Wales.

The inspection found some significant shortfalls and the local authority developed an improvement plan, which we have been monitoring.

When a follow-up inspection took place in March this year, inspectors found that the local authority has made progress in some aspects of the care and support it provides for people with learning disabilities.

Findings

Significant priority has been given to consulting people with learning disabilities, their carers and staff, with an emphasis on ensuring people’s voices are heard and acted upon in the plans developed by Pembrokeshire.

We found positive changes in leadership and culture, with an elected member appointed as champion for people with learning disabilities, supporting senior officers to drive through the changes needed.

Despite improved collaboration with housing, an accommodation strategy for people with learning disabilities has yet to be developed.

The implementation of the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014 is progressing well but the local authority must ensure that they listen to people who have clearly expressed that they want a named professional who they can contact for information, advice and assistance.

Recommendations

The local authority, working with partners, needs to show how its learning disability strategy will be turned into action, with a clear plan and ensuring that all relevant people are involved.

The easy read strategy needs to consider the range of communication methods for people with a learning disability in Pembrokeshire.

Pembrokeshire’s communication strategy must consider how it engages with hard-to-reach groups, and how it works jointly with Hywel Dda University Health Board.

An accommodation strategy for people with learning disabilities needs to be developed, which is based on the population needs of the local authority.

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