Physios will treat more people with learning disabilities as care shifts into the community

Physiotherapists in England can expect to treat more people with learning disabilities as a result of a £45million plan to shift specialist care into the community.


Download the report, Building The Right Support, below

The shift was announced in a joint report from NHS England, council leaders and directors of social services. It is the latest initiative in the Transforming care programme, which was set up in the wake of the Winterbourne View independent hospital scandal. This was exposed in a BBC Panorama programme that showed staff abusing people with learning disabilities.

The report, Building the right support, will see the closure of the last remaining NHS hospital for people with learning disabilities in England, Calderstones in Whalley, Lancashire, along with up to half of the 2,600 hospital beds in the NHS and private sectors used for people with learning disabilities. The beds will be replaced by supported housing schemes.

CSP chair of council Catherine Pope welcomed the news: ‘These plans would ensure people with learning disabilities are treated closer to home and in a way that is based around their individual needs.

‘Physiotherapists deliver many key services to enable people with learning disabilities to live independently in their community and these plans should support that important work.’

In response, the CSP is working with the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists for People with Learning Disabilities (ACPPLD) to develop guidance to support mainstream colleagues.

Natalie Beswetherick, CSP director of practice and development, said: ‘We agree that people with learning disabilities should be able to participate in day-to-day society and have access to mainstream services.

‘As a consequence, physiotherapists will see an increasing number of patients with learning disabilities so we are working with ACPPLD to put together simple advice to members on how to assess and approach people with learning disabilities.’

The guidance is expected to be published in the next few months.

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