More than 1077 children are recorded as living with moderate to severe learning disabilities in Rochdale and over 982 schoolchildren have autism according to official figures.
And now local families are being sought to share their views on the NHS services supporting those with learning disabilities and autism in Rochdale.
Independent health and care champion Healthwatch Rochdale has launched ‘What would you do?’ to encourage people in Rochdale to share their views about what changes to local NHS services should look like.
The Government has developed a ten year plan for NHS covering the whole of England. Local organisations have now been asked to work out what changes will be made to ensure the NHS is better for people in the area.
The NHS Long Term Plan outlines how the NHS will support people with a learning disability or autism to live healthier, happier lives. Areas of focus include more investment in training, undergraduate degree places, supported internships to provide better employment opportunities.
The NHS also wants services to be more accessible for people with a learning disability or autism. This will start in specialist schools, where the NHS will run hearing, sight and dental checks, that might have been hard to access in other community settings. Later in life, people will also be offered annual check-ups and wellbeing services, such as support in quitting smoking.
It’s also proposed to allocate a key support worker to every child and young person with a learning disability or autism by 2024. This will be supported by all patients having more detailed records, with a ‘digital flag’ highlighting their learning disability or autism to NHS staff.
Healthwatch Rochdale is also keen to hear from people about a range of other health services which support people with conditions such as mental health, cancer, heart and lung disease and dementia. People can also have their say on how the NHS can help people live healthier lives through prevention and how people can take more control over their health.People can also share their views in an online survey, which closes at the end of April:
Representatives from the local NHS will also be carrying out engagement work with patients, staff and the community to encourage feedback on the local plan.