UK inquiry finds people with learning disability receive less effective treatment

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 30 July 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1087
  1. Roger Dobson1,
  2. Ann Gulland2
  1. 1Abergavenny
  2. 2London

    People with learning disabilities have more unmet need and receive less effective treatment from the NHS, an independent inquiry has found.

    The inquiry found that the United Kingdom’s estimated 1.5 million people with learning disabilities can face unnecessary suffering, and sometimes death, because laws and guidance that are designed to give them full access to health care are not being followed. In its report, Healthcare for All, the Independent Inquiry into Access to Healthcare for People with Learning Disabilities found that health service staff, particularly those working in general health care, had limited knowledge about learning disability.

    The inquiry called for better training for all staff, better monitoring, and tougher inspections after a report by the learning disability charity Mencap, Death by Indifference, which detailed the cases of six people with a learning disability who had died and whose …

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