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  • Run by Hft, a charity providing services for people with learning disabilities in England.
  • Project to be piloted in two populations of 20 people with learning disabilities –in Gloucestershire and Bradford.
  • Aiming to improve communication and care quality, and enable people with learning disabilities to take control of, and improve, their health and wellbeing.
  • Will use ‘Lincus’, a picture and simple word-based application for recording health and wellbeing information, and the Health Equalities Framework.

People with learning disabilities are now living longer, but they are more likely to develop long-term conditions and at an earlier age. There is also evidence they experience inequitable health outcomes compared with the general population with equivalent health needs.

Health issues in people with learning disabilities can be overlooked or misunderstood due to their difficulties in communicating their feelings. This can prevent diagnosis, delay treatment, reduce wellbeing and exacerbate existing conditions.

Hft, a charity that supports people with learning disabilities, is piloting a project to improve communication between people with learning disabilities, practitioners and support staff, and to improve care quality and reduce health inequalities.  

The project will bring together two tools: Lincus, an easy-to-use picture and simple word-based application for recording health and wellbeing information; and the Health Equalities Framework (HEF), an evidence based outcomes framework.

Lincus can enhance communication between practitioners and people with learning disabilities by allowing both parties to gain more insight into how the person is feeling. Developing HEF as a web-based application, integrating it into Lincus using picture-based icons, and integrating health and wellbeing scores, will enable results to be collated and analysed.

Integrating these platforms will enable Hft to develop a practical, user friendly tool that supports people with learning disabilities to take control of their health care and manage any long-term conditions, while supporting staff to improve care quality.

Two populations of 20 people with learning disabilities will pilot the project – one receiving residential services in Gloucestershire; and one receiving community-based services in Bradford. 

Contact details

For more information about this project, please contact Sarah Weston, Innovation Manager at Hft.

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