Services for people with learning disabilities (LD) in Greenwich and Bexley came under scrutiny at meetings held in the boroughs recently.
People with LD, carers, commissioners and healthcare professionals came together at the Big Health Check days to talk about issues such as access to local services and the quality and consistency of services delivered to people with LD.
The Greenwich event was held at Charlton House, Charlton, on 9 May and the Bexley event at the Danson Youth Centre, Bexleyheath, on 16 May.
Both events were part of a self assessment process that health commissioners nationally are going through to discover how well all local health services meet the needs of people with LD and their carers. The process is part of the NHS Operating Framework (Learning Disability and Autism) which sets out priorities for the year 2011/12.
Round table groups discussed four targets and voted on how well local LD services were meeting them. The targets were:
The results from Greenwich and Bexley will be reported to NHS London, the strategic health authority for the Greater London area, and will be published on the Improving Health and Lives Learning Disabilities Observatory website: www.improvinghealthandlives.org.uk
Stephan Brusch, Head of the Learning Disability Development Team in NHS London, led both events. Stephan said: “NHS London sets targets for LD services and the Big Health Check Up days will help show how well Greenwich and Bexley are doing against these. They are about finding out what we do well and what we can do better and it is key that we gather first-hand experience and feed it back.”
Mark Bradley, Health Facilitation Coordinator based at Stuart House in Sidcup, was instrumental in organising the day. He said: “We had the right mix of people at the events. It was nice to see people with LD and their carers engaging so closely round the table with senior commissioners and healthcare professionals to think about and help plan local services.”