Summary of key findings on progress and challenges since The same as you?
This section summarises the main findings which are then described in more detail in each section of the report which follows.
- the value and relevance of the principles set out in The same as you? are confirmed by all aspects of the evaluation; people with learning disabilities want support to live independent lives and an end to discrimination
- since 2000, more than 1,000 people have moved out of hospital into homes in the community. The closure of all the long-stay learning disability hospitals is a key achievement from The same as you? The overwhelming majority of adults with learning disabilities now live in the community. More people have experience of supported living, although some people are still in inappropriate placements and there is a wide variation in packages of support
- the education of people with learning disabilities is taken much more seriously. More people go on to college than in the past, but transition from school is still an issue, as is learning skills and moving into work
- those in work benefit economically and socially. Supported employment has been shown to be cheaper and more beneficial than day services. However, only a minority are in paid work
- people have access to a more varied and meaningful range of day opportunities that involve them in the community. Day services have diversified including for people with complex needs
- a majority of people have been asked about what they want to happen in their lives. Individual planning and flexible support has increased independence. People with access to flexible funding have used this to develop leisure and meaningful opportunities. Life Plans can be effective where followed up and reviewed
- improved access to meaningful activities and social relationships has benefitted people's wellbeing. Both people with learning disabilities and family carers felt that greater social opportunities and inclusion have improved public attitudes
- people generally felt safe in their homes and out and about. However, bullying and harassment is still a serious concern
- being healthy underpins all other activities. Many people with learning disabilities are aware of healthy living messages, but encounter barriers to putting these into practice.
The evaluation also identified challenges which need to be addressed including:
- an end to parents being given negative messages on the birth of a disabled child
- timely information and support to individuals and families throughout life to assist in planning for the future and to prevent crises
- a much greater emphasis on support that builds people's capacity to lead independent, healthy lives
- local health and social work services commissioning appropriate local support to improve outcomes for people with learning disabilities whose behaviour challenges services
- opportunities for more adults with learning disabilities to have greater choice and control through employing their own staff and choosing meaningful activities
- young people with learning disabilities leaving school and college to have information about their options and the offer of further training or employment
- accessible information to be the norm for all public bodies
- the need for significant improvement in the numbers of people with learning disabilities in meaningful paid employment
- greater progress in making transport and mainstream services accessible to all
- use of the NHS Quality Strategy (Scottish Government, 2010b) to ensure the equal access of people with learning disabilities to effective healthcare and reduce health inequalities
- joint work with the police and others to ensure equality of treatment by the criminal justice system
- implementation of equalities legislation where people with learning disabilities are unduly disadvantaged
- strong responses to discrimination and abuse
- improved skills, information and joint working to support parents with learning disabilities, families from black and minority ethnic communities and individuals and families of people with complex and profound needs
- strategies to plan for the needs of increasing numbers of young people with complex needs and older people with increased health needs including dementia.
There is a fuller summary of priorities to be addressed at the end of this report.
Email: Sarah Grant
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