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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 (4.39 per 1,000 compared to 3.73 per 1,000 nationally)
    • The proportion of eligible adults with learning disabilities who have had a GP health in Blackpool is lower, but not significantly different to the England average (41.0% compared to 44.2%). However across the North West a figure of 50% is achieved
    • In Blackpool 90.4% of supported adults with learning disability live in settled accommodation, significantly higher than the proportion in England as a whole
    • There is a significantly higher rate of adult with learning difficulties receiving community services support from Blackpool Council than the average nationally

Figure 1 - Public Health England Learning Disabilities Profile

Population

Figure1

Health

Figure2

Accommodation and Social Care

Figure3

Coordination and Local Planning

Figure4Source: 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 there were 463 people aged 18-64 living in Blackpool who had a learning disability that required the support of local services. Figure 1 states that 365 people aged 18-64 are receiving long term support from the council, suggesting there could be a group of people with an unmet need for support.

Figure 2 - People aged 18-64 predicted to have a learning disability, by age
 20142015202020252030
People aged 18-24 predicted to have a learning disability 322 322 289 283 309
People aged 25-34 predicted to have a learning disability 423 426 438 428 398
People aged 35-44 predicted to have a learning disability 407 398 379 405 421
People aged 45-54 predicted to have a learning disability 499 500 454 390 377
People aged 55-64 predicted to have a learning disability 386 388 434 452 416
Total population aged 18-64 predicted to have a learning disability 2,038 2,034 1,995 1,958 1,921
Source: Projecting Adult Needs and Service Information (PANSI)
 
Figure 3 - People aged 65 and over predicted to have a learning disability, by age
 20142015202020252030
People aged 65-74 predicted to have a learning disability 331 334 334 322 363
People aged 75-84 predicted to have a learning disability 188 190 203 233 235
People aged 85 and over predicted to have a learning disability 72 74 83 97 116
Total population aged 65 and over predicted to have a learning disability 592 598 620 652 714
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
 20142015202020252030
People aged 18-24 predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability 74 74 67 67 73
People aged 25-34 predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability 91 91 94 92 86
People aged 35-44 predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability 102 100 95 102 106
People aged 45-54 predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability 112 112 101 88 86
People aged 55-64 predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability 84 85 95 98 89
Total population aged 18-64 predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability 464 463 453 446 440
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
 20142015202020252030
People aged 65-74 predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability 54 54 54 52 59
People aged 75-84 predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability 20 20 21 24 24
People aged 85 and over predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability 7 7 8 9 11
Total population aged 65 and over predicted to have a moderate or severe learning disability 81 81 82 85 93
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: