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The Confidential Inquiry into the deaths of people with learning disabilities – the story so far

Pauline Heslop (Confidential Inquiry Manager, Norah Fry Research Centre, Bristol, UK)
Anna Marriott (Confidential Inquiry Project Worker, Norah Fry Research Centre, Bristol, UK)

Tizard Learning Disability Review

ISSN: 1359-5474

Publication date: 14 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Keywords

Citation

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

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited