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TCP plans to enhance care for people with learning disabilities are released


5 August 2016

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Plans to transform care for people with a learning disability or autism have been published by local authorities and healthcare leaders.

The initial plans from all 48 Transforming Care Partnerships (TCPs), across England, set out how they intend to enable people with a learning disability to lead more independent lives and have a greater say about the support they receive.

The plans mark a major stage in delivering the reforms set out in “Building the right support”, published by NHS England, the Local Government Association (LGA), and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), in October 2015.

The document set out an aim of reducing the number of people with a learning disability or autism in England who are in hospitals by up to half over the next three years.

The newly released plans include exploring the development of a shared-ownership housing scheme in Buckinghamshire TCP, which will enable people to receive services in their own homes, not hospitals.

Meanwhile, Suffolk TCP is planning to use Positive Behavioural Support, an evidence-based model of care, to support people with a learning disability or autism.

NHS England has committed £100m of capital funding over five years to support TCP projects.

This is up from the £15m announced when “Building the right support” was first published.

Investment totalling more than £20m has already been provisionally earmarked for schemes across the country in 2016/17, including new housing and services.

Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer for England and chair of the Transforming Care Delivery Board, said: “Building the right support was rightly praised for its ambitious and comprehensive plan to improve the lives of people with a learning disability and/or autism.

“This will by no means be easy, but it’s extremely encouraging to see how local NHS organisations and councils have taken up the mantle, built on existing good practice and engaged with families and organisations in their areas to develop their own innovative plans to suit their areas.

“We and our national partners are backing their plans, including with this significant additional investment over the coming years, and I look forward to seeing the improvements in people’s lives and health we can deliver together.”

TCPs, which include patients, their families, service providers, clinical commissioning groups, local authorities and NHS England specialised commissioning hubs, are tasked with designing new, high-quality, community-based services which reflect the document’s aims.

The recipients of £30 million from NHS England to help fund TCPs have also been finalised.

Funding of almost £6.5 million will be given to 23 TCPs on a match-funding basis to help get new services up and running while older models of care are still in place, allowing for safe and effective transition between the two.

Ray James, immediate past-president of ADASS and vice-chair of the Transforming Care Delivery Board, said: “The transformation funds announced today will help ensure that more people with a learning disability and/or autism are supported to lead fuller, more independent lives in their local community.

“We know there is much more that needs to done, but today marks another important step in our work with and for local people, their families and carers.”

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing portfolio holder, said: “This is a significant milestone in improving the lives of people with a learning disability and autism, and ensuring they are supported in the community rather than the hospital.

“Councils remain absolutely committed to supporting people with a learning disability and autism to live close to family and friends, in good quality accommodation with support from highly skilled staff.”

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