One fifth of people with learning difficulties known to services

Uncertainty about how money is being spent is hindering plans to
help people with learning difficulties achieve full citizenship,
according to a government taskforce report, writes
Craig Kenny.

The paper predicts an explosion in the numbers of older people
with learning difficulties over the next two decades and hints at
high levels of unmet need.

The Learning Disabilities Taskforce estimates there are
currently 985,000 people with learning difficulties but only
224,000 (22 per cent) are known to learning difficulties

The number of people over 60 with learning difficulties is
predicted to increase by 36 per cent by 2021, while the population
aged 20 and over is set to grow by 11 per cent in the same

There is also a large potential unplanned cost for social
services in the fact that only half of carers aged 65 and over in
England have a plan agreed, says the report.

But of the £4 billion spent annually on learning
disabilities services, only 0.43 per cent is directly related to
the Valuing People white paper, which set out plans to improve
housing, support and access to healthcare.

Too much of the budget is being spent in areas which “bear
no relation to a modern learning disabilities service,” says
the report.

* Transforming the quality of people’s lives  – How it can be
done. Financing Improved Services to People with Learning
Disabilities from


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