Review of learning disability deaths launched in Birmingham

From 1 October 2017, the deaths of people with a learning disability, who had a Birmingham GP, will be reviewed by a team of trained staff  to identify any potentially avoidable factors that may have contributed to the person’s death. The review will involve family members to understand more about the individual, the care they received, and if any changes to the health and social care system are required.

This is happening as part of the Learning Disability Mortality Review Programme (LeDeR); a programme which has been set up by the NHS, following a number of reports into the deaths of people with a learning disability.

These reports found that:

  • Nearly a quarter of people with learning disability were younger than 50 years when they died; with women dying on average at a younger age than men.
  • For every one person in the general population who dies from a cause of death which can be treated with good quality care, three people with learning disability will die.
  • Only 1% of expected, and unexpected, deaths of people with learning disability were investigated over a four year period.
  • People with learning disability have a life expectancy 19.7 years lower than people without learning disability.

The NHS has made it a priority to reduce the number of premature deaths, by improving access to health services, the education and training of staff, and by making necessary reasonable adjustments for people with a learning disability and/or autism.

To report a death of a person with a learning disability, who has died on or after 01 October 2017, to the National Mortality Review Team, you can use this confidential online notification form or call 0300 777 4774 (confidential line available Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm).  You do not need anyone else’s permission to report the death.  Anyone can report a death of a person with a learning disability, including: family members; friends; local authority and NHS staff.

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