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What did we learn from the Better Health Better Lives Conference?
On 20 June we went to the Better Health Better Lives conference, which was organised by NHS England and the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) to talk about how people with learning disabilities can be healthier and live better lives.
Nigel, Pam, and Shaun travelled to London by train to attend the conference. It was very hot!
We found out about the LeDeR Programme. This is a group of people at Bristol University who look into all the reasons why people with learning disabilities die before they are supposed to. This is called a mortality review.
The LeDeR Programme has made a list of 27 actions and recommendations, to make sure people don’t die early. A lot of these are to do with better communication – both between different services, and between services and the person with a learning disability or their family carer.
We also heard from Chris Hatton, who is a professor at Lancaster University. He talked about how even though learning disability isn’t a health problem, having a learning disability seems to make people ill. This is because bad things (like being abused or being poor) are more likely to happen to people who have a learning disability, and bad things can make you ill.
We also heard from Dr Angela Donkin from University College London. She also said that things like being poor, not having anything to do, and not having very good housing mean that people with learning disabilities are not very healthy. These are called “social determinants of health.”
This means to make people healthier we need to make their lives better in lots of different ways. We need to campaign for better housing, better access to fitness activities, and more jobs for people with a learning disability.
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