This report is the fourth in a series of reports written by the Learning Disabilities Public Health Observatory (LDPHO: www.ihal.org.uk ) focusing on reasonable adjustments in a specific service area. The aim of these reports is to make it easier for people to find and use reasonable adjustments, and to share good practice regarding implementation of reasonable adjustments.
People with learning disabilities have significantly higher rates of mortality and morbidity than their non-disabled peers.3-7 The importance of actively addressing the health inequalities experienced by people with learning disabilities has been highlighted by a series ofreports from: the Disability Rights Commission;5 Sir Jonathan Michael’s independent inquiry into the healthcare of people with learning disabilities;1 the Parliamentary, Health Services and Local Government Ombudsman;8 the House of Lords and House of Commons Joint Committee on Human Rights;9 the Department of Health;10-14and Mencap.1516 It is a statutory requirement under the Equality Act 2010 and the NHS and Social Care Act 2008 that public sector agencies make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to their practice that will make them as accessible and effective as they would be for people without disabilities. Reasonable adjustments include removing physical barriers to accessing health services, but importantly also include making whatever alterations are necessary to policies, procedures, staff training and service delivery to ensure that they work equally well for people with learning disabilities.17-21 A database of ‘reasonable adjustments’ made by health agencies is maintained by the LDPHO.22
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