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NHS England boosts funding for learning disability support

£10m investment to help people live more independently, closer to friends and family

Louise Prime

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

NHS England has this morning announced a more than £10 million investment in Transforming Care Partnerships to help people with a learning disability and/or autism to lead more independent lives closer to their own family and friends.

Transforming Care Partnerships are cross-service bodies that comprise NHS organisations, local authorities and NHS England commissioners, that work closely with people who use learning disabilities services and their families and carers, as well as service providers. They are tasked with “improving services in way that reflects the wishes and circumstances of local residents”.

NHS England said the new funding, which will support fourteen local Transforming Care Partnerships, will allow them to develop new, high-quality, community services for people in their area. Three of these are:

  • In Bradford, intensive support for children showing challenging behaviour in an effort to avoid the need for residential schooling;
  • In the south of England, action to help people move from long-term inpatient care into more appropriate facilities in their own communities;
  • In Berkshire, funding for a multi-disciplinary community service to support people, helping to speed up the closure of an inpatient unit.

Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer for England and chair of the Transforming Care Delivery Board, said: “Local health and social care leaders continue to make good progress in developing and implementing their plans to provide the kind of joined-up, responsive services needed by people with a learning disability, autism or both.

“Thanks to efforts so far, we’ve already seen an 13% fall in the number of people inappropriately in inpatient settings across England – people who instead are now able to get better more personal home-based support.

“This next wave of funding will see even more people and families benefit, and we will continue to back the most ambitious and credible plans from local areas over the next two years.”

NHS England said the £10 million it announced today is the latest tranche of up to £40 million being invested by the cross-system Transforming Care programme over 2015/16-2018/19. Reforms made under the programme include the roll out of Care and Treatment Reviews – as a result of which it said, on average, more than 240 people with a learning disability have their needs and progress reviewed every month, leading to many being discharged to more appropriate community-based settings.

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