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Learning Disabilities

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Learning Disabilities

Introduction

The "Valuing People" (Dept of Health, 2001) definition of learning disability includes the presence of:

    • A significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information, to learn new skills (impaired intelligence) with:
      • A reduced ability to cope independently (impaired social functioning)
      • This started before adulthood, with a lasting effect on development

This definition encompasses people with a broad range of disabilities. The presence of a low intelligence quotient is not, of itself, a sufficient reason for deciding whether an individual should be provided with additional health and social care support. An assessment of social functioning and communication skills should also be taken into account when determining need.

The term 'Learning disability' does not include all those who have a 'learning difficulty' which is more broadly defined in education legislation.

Facts and Figures

Key points from the learning disabilities profile presented in Figure 1:

    • Blackpool has a significantly higher prevalence of adults with learning disabilities receiving long term support from the local authority compared to England as a whole (4.14 per 1,000 compared to 3.38 per 1,000 nationally)
    • The proportion of eligible adults with learning disabilities who have had a GP health check in Blackpool is lower, but not significantly different to the England average (42.5% compared to 51.7%)
    • In Blackpool 92.7% of supported adults with learning disability live in settled accommodation, significantly higher than the proportion in England as a whole

Figure 1 - Public Health England Learning Disabilities Profile

Population

Health

Accommodation and Social Care

Coordination and Local Planning

Source: Public Health England - Learning Disabilities Profile

Population projections of the number of people predicted to have learning difficulties in future are shown in Figures 2 - 5. This shows that the number of adults under the age of 65 predicted to have a learning difficulty is expected to fall gradually as the total population in this age group falls over the next 25 years. The number of adults aged over 65 with a learning difficulty is predicted to rise over the period, in-line with the raise in the overall population of older adults. Figure 4 estimates, in 2019,  there were 450 people aged 18-64 living in Blackpool who had a learning disability that required the support of local services.

Figure 2 - People aged 18-64 predicted to have a learning disability, by age
 20192020202520302035
People aged 18-24 predicted to have a learning disability 286 284 272 295 297
People aged 25-34 predicted to have a learning disability 428 423 408 376 383
People aged 35-44 predicted to have a learning disability 369 374 393 399 385
People aged 45-54 predicted to have a learning disability 470 456 390 375 398
People aged 55-64 predicted to have a learning disability 430 439 459 425 369
Total population aged 18-64 predicted to have a learning disability 1,983 1,976 1,922 1,870 1,833
Source: Projecting Adult Needs and Service Information (PANSI)
 
Figure 3 - People aged 65 and over predicted to have a learning disability, by age
 20192020202520302035
People aged 65-74 predicted to have a learning disability 331 331 322 367 388
People aged 75-84 predicted to have a learning disability 193 195 221 221 232
People aged 85 and over predicted to have a learning disability 71 71 78 88 109
Total population aged 65 and over predicted to have a learning disability 595 598 621 677 729
Source: Projecting Older People Population Information (POPPI)
 
Figure 4 - People aged 18-64 predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability, and hence likely to be in receipt of services, by age
 20192020202520302035
People aged 18-24 predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability 66 66 64 70 71
People aged 25-34 predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability 92 91 88 81 82
People aged 35-44 predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability 93 94 99 101 97
People aged 45-54 predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability 105 102 88 85 91
People aged 55-64 predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability 94 95 99 91 79
Total population aged 18-64 predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability 450 448 437 428 420
Source: Projecting Adult Needs and Service Information (PANSI)
 
Figure 5 - People aged 65 and over predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability, and hence likely to be in receipt of services, by age
 20192020202520302035
People aged 65-74 predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability 53 53 52 60 63
People aged 75-84 predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability 20 20 23 22 24
People aged 85 and over predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability 7 7 7 8 10
Total population aged 65 and over predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability 80 80 82 90 96
Source: Projecting Older People Population Information (POPPI)

National and local strategies

Recommendations

NHS England has recommends a focus on four key areas to reduce the health inequalities suffered by people with learning disabilities: