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Guidance needed to treat people with learning disabilities

People with learning disabilities have a greater risk of dying early because of poor healthcare, the government has revealed. 

Best practice guidelines could be developed to improve the treatment people with learning disabilities receive, Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb announced today. 

Two publications from the Department of Health show that while some improvements have been made, people with learning disabilities are still experiencing poor care. 

The National Clinical Director for Learning Disability will look at how possible it would be to create guidelines. 

Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb said: “Good, high quality care should be expected for everyone. We wouldn't accept this kind of poor care for cancer patients, so there is no reason why it is acceptable for people with learning disabilities.

“We are making progress on improving standards of care,  but we have to go further and keep driving forward our plans.”

The government aims to improve the way people with learning disabilities are identified so that their needs can be better met. 

There should also be a known contact for people with multiple long-term conditions, to co-ordinate their care and be involved in planning, the government claims. 

The responses to the Confidential Inquiry into premature deaths of people with learning disabilities and the Six Lives Progress Report on Healthcare for People with Learning Disabilities were recently published by the Department of Health.