Success of local service for people with learning disabilities

A national drive to help people with learning disabilities lead more independent lives is achieving positive results across the Vale of York.

A national drive to help people with learning disabilities lead more independent lives is achieving positive results across the Vale of York. 

As part of the ‘Transforming Care’ initiative Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust is developing services that will help support more people in their own homes rather than in hospital. 

This national initiative has two key features – reducing inpatient beds and enhancing community services to reduce the need for hospital admission. 

The work involves helping prepare people who are currently inpatients to move on to live meaningful lives as part of the community. 

A rehabilitation inpatient unit set up in Easingwold in 2011 to provide rehabilitation services nearer to home for adults with learning disabilities has achieved its objective of preparing individuals to lead more independent lives. 

Plans are now being drawn up to close White Horse View once the four remaining people have been discharged. 

Savings will be reinvested in York and Selby, primarily to develop and strengthen learning disability services. 

This will include developing the existing assessment and treatment unit at Oak Rise in Acomb. 

Work will include making sure that people with learning disabilities get the care and treatment they need in hospital to enable them to return home as soon as possible. 

Money will also be used to strengthen the community learning disability team at Systems House in York to support more people in their home environment and avoid the need for hospital admission. 

Dr David Milnes, clinical director for learning disabilities in York and Selby, said: “White Horse View has provided a welcome stepping stone for people with learning disabilities who wanted to return to live in North Yorkshire. 

“Service users and the multidisciplinary team have worked hard to develop life skills and confidence. We are now taking the final step that allows people to move into their own homes where they will receive support from an enhanced community team”. 

Mrs Ruth Hill, director of operations for York and Selby, said: “We are fully committed to making sure that people with learning disabilities are supported to lead meaningful, independent lives in their local community wherever possible. 

“These developments are key to us doing that and implementing the national ‘Transforming Care’ agenda across the Vale of York.”