Press releases

£1.21m to transform care for people with learning disabilities

Health and care leaders in Nottinghamshire at forefront of national drive to provide 'homes not hospitals'.

People with a learning disability and/or autism* in Nottinghamshire will be amongst the first in the country to be supported to lead more independent lives and have greater say about the support they receive under a national plan published today to radically improve learning disability services.


Nottinghamshire has been designated as a ‘fast track’ area, and the ten health and social care organisations that commission services for Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County residents have been granted £1.21 million in order to help them quickly implement their plans to transform how people are cared for in the area, so that other areas of the country can benefit from their learning and ideas.

Central to the progress set out by the national plan over the next three years will be new, high-quality, community-based services.

Hundreds of people with a learning disability and/or autism are expected to benefit from new, better care options in the community instead of hospitals, with more people not needing to be admitted in the first place.

The plan predicts that, as these services are put in place, there will be a reduction of around 60 per cent in the number of inpatient beds, meaning that some units will close altogether.

Building the right support: A national implementation plan to develop community services and close inpatient facilities is being published today (Friday 30 October) by NHS England, the Local Government Association (LGA), and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS).

It represents a key milestone in the ongoing cross-government Transforming Care programme, which has seen a number of reforms including the roll out of Care and Treatment Reviews and a Government Green Paper on strengthening the rights of individuals.

Immediate plans set out by the Nottinghamshire fast track partners include putting individual rights at the centre of care with an immediate priority being to commission more advocacy support for people during care and treatment reviews. Recognising that confidence of staff and families is paramount to helping individuals stay at home, families will be offered evidence-based parenting training as well as practical and emotional support locally.

Sally Seeley, Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) for the Nottinghamshire Transforming Care programme, said: “There is wide recognition that services for people with learning disabilities and/or autism need to change – our plan helps us to take the steps necessary to achieve this change in care and support for people for whom Nottinghamshire is home. The local plan was created by a partnership of local NHS commissioners and the City and County Councils and sees a shift towards care provided in community settings and a reduction of in-patient beds and in-patient facilities. We want hospital care to be a long-term solution only for those whose needs cannot be met in the community.

“We will make sure that community services are in place before we reduce in-patient facilities and we will still need specialist hospitals to care for people with learning disabilities and/or autism when they cannot be supported safely and effectively in community settings. We will need the skills and experience of staff who are providing good health and care services now, to help us create and deliver the new community services.

“We are committed to involving patients, families, carers, the public and staff who are providing services over the coming months to ensure that new community services provide the right level of support and give patients with learning disabilities and/or autism the same rights, choices, chances and hopes as everyone else so that they can be supported to live more independently and have improved quality of life. The views of people with learning disabilities and/or autism, their families and carers, will be central to how we transform services and any decisions about their care.”


*Throughout, this term refers to children, young people and adults with a learning disability and/or autism who display behaviour that challenges, including those with a mental health condition.

Published: 30 October 2015