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£10 million to be poured into community support for learning disabilities

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Partnerships have formed in Bradford and Berkshire Partnerships have formed in Bradford and Berkshire

Local care providers are set to benefit from over £10 million investment in ‘the most ambitious plans’ to aid learning disability patients in leading more independent lives, NHS England has announced.

The funding will support fourteen local Transforming Care Partnerships (TCP) – made up of NHS organisations, local authorities and NHS England commissioners, working closely with people who use services, their families and providers – to develop new community services for people in their area.

READ MORE: Lack of learning disability nurses could reduce autism diagnoses

Locations for the TCPs include Bradford, where intensive support for children showing challenging behaviour in an effort to avoid the need for residential schooling will be developed; and the south of England, where action will be taken to help people move from long-term inpatient care into more appropriate facilities in their own communities.

A TCO in Berkshire will receive funding for a multi-disciplinary community service to support people, helping to speed up the closure of an inpatient unit.

READ MORE: Communities will put end to 'fractured' health and social care services

NHS England chief nursing officer Jane Cummings said: ‘Local health and social care leaders continue to make good progress in developing and implementing their plans to provide the kind of joined-up, responsive services needed by people with a learning disability, autism or both.

‘Thanks to efforts so far, we’ve already seen an 13% fall in the number of people inappropriately in inpatient settings across England – people who instead are now able to get better more personal home-based support.

READ MORE: Almost half of community care funded by non-NHS contributions

‘This next wave of funding will see even more people and families benefit, and we will continue to back the most ambitious and credible plans from local areas over the next two years.’

In England, around 24,000 people who have a learning disability and/or autism are classed as being at risk of admission. 2,520 people were in inpatient settings as of 28 February 2017 according to the latest NHS figures – down from 2,850 in March 2015 – which continue to demonstrate a reduction in the number of in-patients.

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