This paper aims to outline the process of undertaking the Confidential Inquiry (CI) into the deaths of people with learning disabilities and discusses three particular issues: engaging with professionals; maintaining confidentiality; and the tension between wanting to base the findings on a sufficiently large number of cases so that the findings are robust and reliable, but also wanting to make immediate changes to any potentially modifiable factors found to contribute to the deaths of people with learning disabilities.
The CI into the deaths of people with learning disabilities reviews the deaths of all people with learning disabilities living in the (former) Avon and Gloucestershire areas. It has been commissioned by the Department of Health to run until March 2013. One of the key drivers for a CI has been the work of Mencap in exposing the unequal health care that some people with learning disabilities received in the NHS.
The principal goal of the CI is to improve the standard and quality of care for people with learning disabilities and ultimately their health outcomes. The CI team aims to detect potentially modifiable contributory factors in the care of a person with learning disabilities who has subsequently died, share any examples of good practice in their care and provide information to guide the commissioning of services.
It is anticipated that the findings of the CI will provide a considerable amount of evidence on which to improve the standard and quality of care for people with learning disabilities and ultimately their health outcomes.
Heslop, P. and Marriott, A. (2011), "The Confidential Inquiry into the deaths of people with learning disabilities – the story so far", Tizard Learning Disability Review, Vol. 16 No. 5, pp. 18-25. https://doi.org/10.1108/13595471111185729
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