Latest report on why people with learning disabilities die prematurely

Friday 11 June 2021

Tags: learning disability; health

People with learning disabilities continue to die prematurely although there are some early signs of improvements, according to the latest report from the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) programme published this week.


What does the report tell us

The report compares data from the deaths of 9,110 people with learning disabilities who died in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Sixty-three percent of people with learning disabilities die before reaching the age of 65, compared to 15 percent in the general population. However, the report says there are some early indicators of improvements in the care of people with learning disabilities and a reduction in the proportion of preventable, treatable and overall avoidable medical causes of death.

Both measures, however, remain considerably worse for people with learning disabilities compared to the general population.


What has been happening to reduce premature and avoidable deaths

NHS England has published a Learning report and easy read version, which describes some of the work being undertaken across the country by the NHS and charities to reduce health inequalities and premature mortality amongst people with a learning disability. 

This report includes an example from Contact’s flu and annual health checks campaign which has helped increase take up of both.


Improved access to NHS Annual Health Check

Three quarters of people with a learning disability aged 14 and over on the learning disability register have received an annual health check. This is part of a drive to tackle health inequalities amongst people with a learning disabilities and is two years ahead of the target set in the NHS Long Term Plan target.

Use our Annual Health Checks questions and answers page to find out more or listen to our podcast below.


Training for NHS and social care staff

The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in Learning disability and Autism for NHS and Social Care staff will also help prevent avoidable deaths. Find out more in this video about Oliver and the campaign that his mother, Paula, ran that led to this much needed training.