No review board into early deaths of patients with learning disabilities
Ministers refuse to implement inquiry recommendation for a national body to investigate 1,200 premature deaths in the NHS
Ministers have refused to create a national body to investigate the 1,200 premature deaths a year of patients with learning disabilities in the NHS
– a key recommendation of a three-year confidential inquiry – drawing fire from campaigners and the government's own researchers.
The confidential inquiry, set up at the end of the last Labour government, found that patients with a learning disability
experience delays in diagnosis, delays in treatment, lack of basic care and poor communication by doctors and nurses.
Carried out by Bristol University academics and funded by the Department of Health, the inquiry "highlighted the unacceptable situation in which people with learning disabilities die, on average, 16 years sooner than people without learning disabilities". Almost two-fifths – 37% – of deaths of people with a learning disability
were due to them not getting the right care.