To receive an update on the Big Plan 2018-21 – a Health and Social Care Strategy for Adults with Learning Disabilities and an overview of the impact of Covid -19 on people with Learning Disabilities, their families and support services.
· The update on the Big Plan 2018-2021 recognises that it has been a challenging 12 months for people with a learning disability as well as their families and the staff who work with them.
· Progress on the Big Plan has been affected by Covid and many of the service’s staff had been re-focused because of the pandemic.
· Positive work had taken place around the promotion of health checks and improving their uptake.
· This Big-Plan was supposed to be completed this year (2021) however the impact of Covid and the release of the Government’s new, long-term plan road map (next 3 years) means that it is appropriate for the current Big-Plan to continue, with focus on the key actions within the plan, whilst aligning with the Government’s road map
· The key actions of the current plan will take several years to complete and should incorporate everything that has taken place so far alongside the impact of Covid and the Government’s new road map. These key actions include but are not limited to moving away from residential care toward more independent living and to improve employment opportunities for people with a learning disability.
· This revised timeline will enable 2023 to be a year of co-production on a new Big Plan post 2024.
The Committee asked several questions following the report. Answers were provided by the Head of the Strategic Commissioning for Disabilities. The questions and responses were:
· A member asked a question on finding work for people with learning disabilities and referred to the Crumbs Project as an example of providing training and employment. The Committee heard that a number of schemes were being explored and that there needs to be a focus on getting people through supported employment officer as this will increase their chances of paid work. Some of these services are described as sheltered work opportunities. Members were informed that people with a learning disability were more likely to find employment when they are trained whilst working the role, as opposed to more isolated training first. The Chestnut and Cherry Tree nurseries were referenced as good examples of this.
· A member asked a question on Community Employment Schemes and voluntary work. The Committee heard that the Community Employment scheme at Dorset County Council was a good example of this and that there is opportunity out there. Voluntary work was highlighted as a good outlet to learn skills. This matter of training and employment was a national issue and opportunities need to be increased on this.
· A question was raised on healthchecks and the Committee heard from the Head of the Strategic Commissioning for Disabilities that healthchecks had not reached 100% uptake which is reflective of the national picture, however there is a renewed now that the Covid restrictions are easing. The Primary Care network has faced lots of pressures but there is a dedicated work stream in place, working alongside the People First Forum to produce good quality resources to support people coming through the healthcheck system.
RESOLVED that the Committee noted the content of the report and supported the proposal to extend the Learning Disability Big Plan until 31 March 2024 and Update the Big Plan Work Plan accordingly.