Improving health for people with a learning disability

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Friday, March 14th, 2014
People with a learning disability are more likely to suffer from health inequalities than members of general population. The Public Health Agency (PHA), HSCB and the University of Ulster have hosted a conference which has showcased the work that has been done to date to promote the health and wellbeing of people with a learning disability and demonstrate the commitment to address health and social wellbeing inequalities of people with a learning disability in the future. Aidan Murray, HSCB, referenced the contribution that the National Confidential Inquiry (2013) has made in highlighting that people with a learning disability are likely to die 20 years younger compared with the general population. In addition, there is evidence that there is also unequal access to services, with delayed diagnosis. The Learning Disability Conference for professionals, service users and carers showcased the work to date, demonstrated the commitment of professionals to ensuring that those with a learning disability have the same access to services as any member of the general public, and showed how the work will be continued and extended through the next phase. Molly Kane, Regional Lead Nurse Consultant Mental Health and Learning Disability at the PHA, said, β€œIt was identified that action was needed to improve the health and wellbeing of people with a learning disability in Northern Ireland and in order to do so a new group has been formed to coordinate health care and improvement initiatives across health and social care services.”
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