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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and adult social care services in England. They also protect the interests of people whose rights have been restricted under the Mental Health Act. They have published a five year plan outlining how they will drive up standards on behalf of people with learning disabilities.   This has been published in response to an inpatient review published yesterday (16 December 2009)

One interesting statistic within the document is that there are almost 1 million people in the UK with a learning disability and of these 800,000 are adults. 

Key to driving improvement will be building intelligence networks, within services, representative groups and other relevant organisations. This will feed into the regulator’s picture of services and direct where inspections should take place.

The CQC has identified three areas of improvement that they would like to make a difference over the next five years.  These are:

  • Ensuring that the care of people with learning disabilities becomes more person-centred, including a greater focus on person-centred care plans.
  • Ensuring that people with learning disabilities receive care that is safe.
  • Improving the commissioning of services for people with learning disabilities.

Plans also include:

  • a special review of physical healthcare for people with a learning disability and people with mental illness in response to the Michael’s enquiry
  • piloting a joint service inspection of local authorities and primary care trusts to check adult safeguarding mechanism
  • consulting on a special review on the use of restraint and the health and social care needs of offenderg
  • involving “experts by experience” (people with a learning disability and carers) in a range of social and health care inspections and reviews
  • continuing to work with the Department of Health and the Information Centre to improve available data, including performance indicators and the possibility of having a national minimum data set for learning disabilities.

The complete plan can be downloaded here.

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