People with learning difficulties are dying prematurely because of institutional discrimination and ignorance within the NHS, according to a report published today.
The Mencap study details the cases of six people with learning difficulties who died as a result of “indifference, lack of training and a very poor understanding of the needs of people with a learning disability” within the health service.
The report argues that people with a learning difficulty are seen as a low priority within the health system and many healthcare professionals do not understand much about their impairments.
Mencap is demanding an independent inquiry into the six cases and a wider inquiry into the premature deaths of people with a learning difficulty.
The government’s 2001 Valuing People strategy suggested testing the feasibility of such an inquiry.