More disabled clients in need of state’s support

Nigel and Tracey Taylor

Nigel and Tracey Taylor

First published in Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Health reporter, also covering Kidlington. Call me on 01865 425271

THE number of people with learning disabilities who need state-funded help has risen 16 per cent in the last two years, it has been revealed.

Council and NHS bosses are funding care for 2,078 people in their own homes or care facilities in March this year, compared to 1,792 in March 2012.

People who are supported to live at home has risen from 1,298 to 1,673 in the two years.

Oxfordshire County Council spokesman Paul Smith said: “It has gone up by 16 per cent due to an overall increase in the number of adults with a learning disability and the fact that people with a learning disability are living much longer.”

The rise was revealed amid a review of learning disability services, sparked in part by the death of an Oxford teenager in a city NHS facility.

Connor Sparrowhawk died after drowning in a bath at NHS unit Slade House, Headington, last July.

A probe found his death could have been prevented with more frequent checks on his baths and better overall assessments. One area the review wants to improve is the take-up of physical and mental “health checks” with GPs, a move welcomed by adults with learning disabilities.

Banbury’s Nigel Taylor, 55, who has cataracts, diabetes and hearing aids, said a health check three years ago proved vital.

He said: “I wish I could have heard of health checks a lot sooner then probably it would have helped me with my health and made me a lot better.”

Wife Tracey, 46, who has mild learning disabilities and is a trustee of Oxford learning disability charity My Life My Choice welcomed the review, being run with the NHS Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG). She said: “In the wake of the tragic and preventable death of Connor Sparrowhawk I’m heartened to see that the county council and OCCG have responded positively to the views of people with learning disabilities and their families.

“The challenge now is to turn the plan into meaningful action.”

The council and county NHS are reviewing services that both contract from Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Slade House.

A council and county NHS report to county councillors said: “Local confidence in services provided by Southern Health has been impacted upon by the death of Connor Sparrowhawk.”

Helping people with a learning disability and “challenging behaviour” to live in the community is a key consideration, it said. Services that help people move from a residential setting to their home is not “fast enough” OCCG chief executive David Smith and council social services boss John Jackson said.

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor: What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter for publication here

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.

 

  • Our top stories

Judge: South Oxfordshire arsons may remain mystery + dramatic CCTV video from inside council

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 30th May 2015

A JUDGE has said we will never find out why an arsonist started a series of “devastating” fires in South Oxfordshire, as he sectioned him under the Mental Health Act.

M40 northbound blocked between Thame and Watlington after crash

Oxford Mail: Lorry jackknifes on M40 causing traffic tailbacks

5:39pm Saturday 30th May 2015

THE M40 is blocked northbound between junction 6 for Watlington and junction 7 for Thame after a crash.

More than 250 Didcot power station protesters have now set up camp

Oxford Mail:

2:43pm Saturday 30th May 2015

More than 250 environmental activists are now camped near Didcot Power Station.

Fans keen to join Oxford United on their pre-season trip to Austria

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 30th May 2015

Oxford United’s pre-season preparations have been boosted by the confirmation of a training camp and a match in Austria.

Fundraiser attempts to break space hopping world record

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 30th May 2015

A CHARITY fundraiser hopes she will finally be hopping over the finishing line in a world record-breaking attempt.

Didcot murders: Community creates a trail of ribbon tributes to its three murder victims

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 30th May 2015

DOZENS of floral tributes have now been left outside the Didcot home where a family were murdered.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree