Living Well with Autism: Beyond the Limitations
- 28 May 2015
- 08:00 - 13:30
- Manchester Conference Centre
In more recent times the learning disability and autism sector has deservedly been the focus of greater attention. With approximately 1.5 million people in the UK with a learning disability and 1% of the population with an autism spectrum condition it is a continuing process to make things better for those that are living with or affected by learning disability and/or autism.
Open Forum Events has and enviable reputation for hosting highly informative, practical and thought-provoking meetings, bringing together key stakeholders to discuss, debate and help formulate future policy and action.
The Learning Disabilities and Autism: Improving Care will be no exception in continuing to drive the agenda to improve lives.
There has been some significant activity and new developments in recent months and this conference, with the insightful contributions from the expert speakers, will provide delegates with updates on:
As we enter 2020 join us at the Learning Disabilities and Autism: Improving Care conference with the hope that by the end of the decade, if not sooner, inequalities will be a thing of the past for people with learning disability and/or autism.
In May 2019, NHS England announced an extra £5 million of funding specifically to care for people with a learning disability. The prime concerns include the scale of premature deaths of people with learning disabilities and/or autism, based on the latest data that has revealed that individuals are dying 25 years earlier than the general population. The NHS is committed to carrying out reviews improve care and take action nationally to tackle serious conditions.
To further enhance care and treatment, the Department of Health and Social Care has undergone a consultation focusing on specialist training for health and care professionals to better understand the needs of people and make the necessary adjustments to support them.
A report by the Children’s Commissioner has revealed harrowing evidence of children, particularly those who are autistic or have a learning disability, being unnecessarily admitted to secure hospitals, some spending prolonged periods in these institutions, often a long way from home, family and friends. Some of the practices these children are subjected to are significantly disturbing with the report describing the use of restraint and seclusion. The Commissioner described these children as "some of the most vulnerable children of all, with very complex needs, growing up in institutions usually far away from their family home. For many of them this is a frightening and overwhelming experience. For many of their families it is a nightmare."
In another hospital report, undertaken by the CQC, it warns that patients with learning disabilities and autism are being let down by a ‘broken’. Prolonged segregation, wards unsuitable for autistic patients and a lack of training of staff were just some of the issues highlighted.
Within the community there are also situations that need to be overcome which include discrimination, prejudice and hate crime. The charity United Response has launched a campaign ‘Am I Your Problem’ to challenge the general public to consider the harm they may be inflicting on people with learning disabilities and autism through their actions and behaviour.
Prejudicial attitudes can also be a factor in social withdrawal, leading to feelings of loneliness and isolation. One scheme to try and combat this is fronted by Ambitions about Autism. Young people form the charity have launched a new resource to help other young autistic people to access youth groups and after school activities.
Other positive action to improve people’s situations is the continuing STOMP programme dedicated to reducing the use of psychotic medication to treat challenging behaviour. The use of technology is also a force for good and can support people to access the care they need, remain as independent as possible and help connect to social networks.
There is plethora of pioneering work being done and significantly a great deal is being undertaken by those who have a learning disability and /or autism themselves and therefore have the best understanding of what is required to make improvements.
This conference is the next installment, in a series of highly insightful events, focusing on improving care, support and life chances for all those living with or affected by learning disabilities and/or autism.
The NHS has announced that an additional £5 million will fund reviews to improve care for people with a learning disability and committed to renewed national action to tackle serious conditions. The latest data from the Learning Disability Mortality Review (LeDeR) programme has revealed that individuals with learning disabilities are dying 25 years earlier than the general population.
2 recently published reports have revealed shocking evidence of the treatment received by people in hospitals. The Children’s Commissioner review states that many vulnerable children with learning disabilities are stuck in mental health hospitals for too long in poor conditions. The CQC report, examining the segregation of children on mental health wards and that of adults with a learning disability or autism in hospitals has labelled the system ‘not fit for purpose’.
The government wants to ensure that health and social care staff have the right training to understand the needs of people with a learning disability and autistic people and make reasonable adjustments to support them.
United Response’s Am I Your Problem? campaign challenges the hidden indifference, discrimination and sometimes outright hostility towards people with learning disabilities or autism.
Technology can enable people to have more control over the way they live their lives. Not only can technology enhance more traditional care solutions by managing risk in the home environment, it can also connect people with their wider community, with mobile devices which enable users to travel to work and leisure activities and can increase social inclusion.
STOMP is a national project for stopping over medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both with psychotropic medicines. It involves many different organisations which are helping to stop the overuse of these medicines and support people to stay well and have a good quality of life.
Research suggests that people with a learning disability are vulnerable to loneliness. Up to fifty per cent of people with a learning disability experience chronic loneliness. As many as 79 per
cent of autistic people and 70 per cent of their families feel socially isolated.
Recognising the commitment of individuals with learning disabilities and /or autism who are working to transform the lives of people across the UK by creating a more accessible and inclusive world.
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If you are awaiting funding you can request us to hold your place today to ensure you do not miss out.
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Construction of The Bridgewater Hall commenced on 22 March 1993, but the idea of a new concert hall for Manchester dates back to the reconstruction of the Free Trade Hall in the 1950s after wartime bomb damage. The Free Trade Hall was home to the city’s famous Hallé orchestra and also hosted rock and pop concerts. However, despite holding great public affection, the 1850s Free Trade Hall was ill-equipped to respond to the rising standards of service and acoustic excellence demanded by performers and audiences.