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Learning Disabilities

Key findings (published July 2016

  • It is estimated that there are 5,914 adults in Wirral (in 2015) who have a learning disability and this is thought to rise to 5,942 by 2018, then 6,042 by 2030

  • Within the baseline estimate of 5,914 adults with a learning disability, it is estimated that there are 1,217 adults in Wirral (in 2015) who will have a moderate to severe learning disability. This is thought to reduce slightly to 1,207 by 2030

  • GP practice data for 2014/15 suggests that there are 2,161 patients with a learning disability known at practice level and this compares to 2013/14 data suggesting 1,110 residents are known to Local Authority as accessing learning disability services

  • 9.1% of Wirral school children are receiving some form of support in schools for a special education need and almost 50% of that percentage is those with a learning disability.

  • There is evidence of the large differences between whole population and learning disability population in the uptake of cancer screening. Even though screening rates for LD population are increasing (table 17) they still fall far behind whole population results.

  • Data for 2014/15 suggests that 70%, or 1,513, of LD patients have had a health assessment in the last five years

  • Completed Learning Disability Health Checks identified a range of issues for a significant number of learning disability patients including obesity, diabetes, asthma, dysphagia, epilepsy with a smaller number with coronary heart disease

  • Over 75% of learning disability patients with a recorded Body Mass Index (2014/15) had an unhealthy weight

  • Given the data on Wirral residents with a learning disability there remains a number of key inequalities between learning disability residents and the general population including mortality, morbidity, lifestyle issues, contraception and relationships, mental health, challenging behaviours, housing, keeping safe, social isolation, criminal justice, employment and transport

  • People with learning disabilities tend to be less physically active and a higher proportion can be obese compared to the general population (figure 14) and possibly

    • twice as likely to have asthma
    • 25 times more likely to have epilepsy
    • have higher levels of mental health problems 
    • Die earlier, with death rates three times as high as the general population and a median age at death of between 55 to 60 in Merseyside and North Cheshire

  • More information is available at Merseyside and North Cheshire Health Needs Assessment for Learning Disabilities and Autism (March 2016) Please note – this is an update using additional partner supplied content however some sections remain incomplete and I would hope we can resolve this soon (JSNA Lead, July 2016)


Further information

How do we make Wirral a better place to live for people with a learning disability and their families? July 2016 Wirral Mencap Consultation Report
Wirral Mencap has gathered data from over 160 people with a learning disability and/ or family carers to establish the main concerns and aspirations of people living in Wirral. The data includes information gathered via surveys, focus groups, accessible consultation exercises and statistical information from existing service provision.

Challenging behaviour and learning disabilities:NICE guidelines (NG11) (May 2015)
This guideline covers interventions and support for children, young people and adults with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges. It highlights the importance of understanding the cause of behaviour that challenges, and performing thorough assessments so that steps can be taken to help people change their behaviour and improve their quality of life. The guideline also covers support and intervention for family members or carers.

Local Offer: What is the Local Offer?
The Local Offer sets out what is available for your child in your area if they have special educational needs and or a disability.Visit the Local Offer Wirral website to find out more
The Local Offer will:

  • Give you information about education and training, health and care services
  • Give you information about leisure activities and support groups
  • Hold all the information in one place
  • Be clear, comprehensive and accessible
  • Make service provision more responsive to local needs
  • Be developed and reviewed with service providers and service users.

Inclusive integration: how whole person care can work for adults with disabilities (
Institute for Public Policy Research) (December 2014)
This report focuses on the needs of working-age disabled adults. It looks at how, as health and social care services are increasingly integrated, the needs of these individuals can be protected and more effectively met.

Key information sources for you to consider: