Studies show that people with a learning disability, autism or both experience more health inequalities than others:
women with a learning disability die on average 29 years before other women, and for men it is 23 years earlier
people with a learning disability are four times more likely to die from causes that were treatable with good-quality healthcare
70% of autistic people develop mental health problems at some point and suicide is a leading cause of premature mortality
people with autism, a learning disability or both face additional social and communication disadvantages
families often need to play a particularly important role in advocating for their loved ones and also have a right to be involved if the person wishes or is under 16
hospital scandals at Whorlton Hall, Winterbourne View and others have highlighted how vulnerable people can be to abuse
people with a learning disability or autism can face health, education and social care inequalities that make people more vulnerable to a wide range of abuse, exploitation, radicalisation or serious violence
people with autism or a learning disability may be over-represented in vulnerable groups such as victims of hate crime, cuckooing, county lines and homelessness
The NHS has a duty to each and every individual it serves and must respect their human rights. At the same time, it has a wider social duty to promote equality through the services it provides and to pay particular attention to groups or sections of society where improvements in health and life expectancy are not keeping pace with the rest of the population.
NHS services must reflect, and should be coordinated around and tailored to, the needs and preferences of patients, their families and their carers. Patients, with their families and carers, where appropriate, will be involved in and consulted on all decisions about their care and treatment. The NHS will actively encourage feedback from the public, patients and staff, welcome it and use it to improve its services.
"We ensure that compassion is central to the care we provide and respond with humanity and kindness to each person’s pain, distress, anxiety or need… We find time for patients, their families and carers, as well as those we work alongside…"
"We maximise our resources for the benefit of the whole community, and make sure nobody is excluded, discriminated against or left behind."
"We put the needs of patients and communities before organisational boundaries."
Equality Act 2010 – Section 149 public sector equality duty to consider all individuals in eliminating discrimination, harassment and victimisation Also to make sure people with a protected characteristic have the same opportunities as other people.
The Human Rights Act 1998 protects everyone in the UK. People with a learning disability or autism who are subject to detention may be particularly at risk of having their human rights infringed.