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More People with Learning Disabilities in the Future

More People with Learning Disabilities in the Future

A report by the Learning Disability Task Force exposes the difficulties in pulling together demographic and financial information that would enable central and local Government to plan future services. It highlights the Task Force's concern that plans for improvements in provision of housing and support, day services, fulfilling lives and better healthcare are not being realised because there is a lack of information about what is actually spent and, therefore, what the future investment needs to be.

The report draws together new research into demographics and financial information. It reveals the extent to which levels of demand for services are increasing and where deficits in funding will occur.

For example:

  • by 2021 there will be a 37% increase in adults with learning disabilities aged over 60

  • there will be an overall 11% increase in the total numbers of adults with learning disabilities.

This highlights the need for adequate funding arrangements to be put in place to ensure consistent and improving services.

The report sets out 8 recommendations to ensure future provisions are made. It calls for central government to take into account specific demographic projections to plan future spending. It also singles out the Supporting People programme as an area of success where funding must be protected and increased.

The Supporting People programme has been an area of particular concern for the National Forum on learning disability. Ian Davies, co-chair of the Learning Disability Task Force Finance sub-group said "The programme has really helped people with a learning disability achieve independence in their lives. It gives practical support to help people to live in houses which are right for them.”

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