Learning Disability and Autism

The learning disabilities and autism programme for South East London

The learning disabilities and autism programme, formally known as transforming care, is a national programme of system-wide change to enable more people to live in the community, with the right support, and close to home.

The partnership making up the programme include borough councils of Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham, and Southwark, and the NHS South East London clinical commissioning group (CCG), together with the South London Partnership and NHS England Specialised Commissioning, working on this agenda.

In February 2015, NHS England publicly committed to a programme of closing inpatient facilities and establishing stronger support in the community and promised further details would follow later in the year.

Our vision for this programme is:

  • to achieve equality of life chances and opportunities for people with learning disability and autism, including those with a mental health problem
  • for people with learning disabilities and autism to grow up and live as independently as possible as adults, giving life-long support where this is needed
  • for mainstream services to enable people with learning difficulties and autism to access services to enable them to live healthy lives

By working together across South East London, we can identify and develop projects and initiatives that are better done beyond borough boundaries, working with local health and social care services. Commissioners in councils (for social care) and CCGs (for health services) are working together to ensure greater consistency across South East London and to improve standards. The programme is also a vehicle for supporting delivery of NHS England’s programme for people with learning disabilities.

Get involved

To support this work, we have set up a Learning Disabilities and Autism programme Forum specifically for people who have learning disabilities or autism, or both, and present behaviour that challenges. This includes people who have been admitted to mental health hospitals or are at risk of being admitted.

If you have experience of this type of service, either directly or as a family member, and are living in Lewisham, Bromley, Bexley, Southwark, Lambeth, or Greenwich, then you are eligible to join the Forum. You could help shape and improve services for the future and influence real change.

If you are interested, email Three Cs on info@threecs.co.uk or telephone 020 8269 4340.

Exemplar sites

SEL CCG is receiving some funding to support general practices in the delivery of Annual Health Checks for people with Learning Disabilities.

Annual Health Checks for people with learning disabilities is an area the SEL CCG Learning Disabilities and Autism programme has been collectively working on for some years.

Uptake of this health check has been improving year on year but there is still variation across our six boroughs where 46-72% of people have received their annual health check in 2019/20.

In September, we learnt that SEL CCG was selected to become one of seven regional Exemplar sites for Annual Health Checks for people with learning disabilities.

A small grant of £35,000 will be given to the learning disabilities and autism programme, £30,000 of this will be distributed to the six borough teams in SEL CCG. The £5,000 per borough will be used over a 12-month period to fund providers to support two primary care networks, one per six-month reporting period.

This funding is to be used to support improvement in any of the following key areas:

  • Better identifying people not on their registers.
  • Following up on patients who do not attend.
  • Coordinating services more effectively to ensure patients who haven’t been offered an annual health check access them.
  • Reviewing the quality of the learning disability register.
  • Improving the quality of health action plans for all patients aged 14 and over.
  • Reaching out better to people from BAME communities.
  • Prioritising the number of people with a learning disability being offered a flu vaccination.

The funding will be aimed at staff training and the development of new ways of working. Annual health check leads within each borough team have been asked to identify the PCNs and area(s) they would like to focus on.

If you have any queries about South East London’s Learning Disability and Autism Programme, please contact the Programme Team on their email selccg.ldapmoteam@nhs.net.