Issue - meetings

Learning Disability Stategy Update

Meeting: 21/06/2021 - Adults and wellbeing scrutiny committee (Item 16)

16 Learning Disability Strategy Update pdf icon PDF 256 KB

To consider the progress and make recommendations on the learning disability strategy to date.

Additional documents:


The committee noted an error in paragraph 6 of the report where the figure should have read 2000, instead of 200.


The head of care commissioning introduced the item. The committee received a presentation led by the senior commissioning officer. The presentation included video clips recorded by two residents with learning disabilities about their lived experience. The chairperson requested that thanks be passed on to them on behalf of the committee.


The chairperson invited questions and comments from committee members to which officers responded. The principal points of the discussion are summarised below:


1.     Officers confirmed there were no specific criteria for identifying young people who would be able to live independently with support. All cases were considered on an individual basis with a focus on setting as many achievable goals as possible in line with the strengths based approach. It was sometimes necessary to have honest but sensitive conversations and to challenge the perceptions of young people, their parents or carers and those working with them about what was achievable.


2.     The committee heard about a supported living scheme which had accommodated 9 people who needed support to live independently. Officers explained that Herefordshire has quite low numbers in supported living compared with other councils so pathways and systems were being developed to pick up individuals who might benefit from such housing earlier and to be better sighted on vacancies. Agreements with social landlords were in place and the council’s housing team were very supportive.


3.     It was noted that there were challenges where individuals had been living in residential care for some time to get them to consider different arrangements.


4.     All young adults who appeared to be needing health and social care were now referred to one transitions team who would then work with experts to see what pathways were suitable for each individual.


5.     The committee heard that the supported living framework, which was aimed at working age people, was currently being revisited.


6.     It was disappointing that the council and NHS had not yet progressed becoming exemplar employers of people with learning disabilities.


7.     The impact of the coronavirus pandemic may have created opportunities for employment, for example in delivering products, picking and packing, hospitality and in increased home working. The committee felt that these opportunities should be explored as the economy began to recover.


8.     The impact of the pandemic had required adaptations to some planned activities and presented challenges for people with learning disabilities but work was in progress to look at opportunities for learning, particularly around the use of assistive technology.


9.     Benchmarking was carried out against other authorities locally and nationally, and the council sought to continue to improve against its own past performance;


10.  Retention of social workers was not a significant problem, but it did sometimes prove hard to appoint experienced people when vacancies occurred. Officers reported they were working with HR on ways to attract more experienced social workers as well as developing the skills of existing staff.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16