A key priority for us is to make sure that people with a learning disability who live in our county can live long and healthy lives. This is at the heart of our Live Well, Live Longer Strategy, which we co-produced with the North Yorkshire Learning Disability Partnership Board and which has driven a wide range of improvements.
The board advocates strongly for the rights of people with a learning disability to find a place they call home.
In North Yorkshire, a key step we have taken is the creation of a Transforming Care team to support people who are detained, or at risk of being detained, under the Mental Health Act. It drives forward discharges, supports people to live within their communities, and works to increase accommodation provision.
The board has also worked with us to create training for social workers and embed annual health checks within social care assessments.
The past two years have been hugely challenging, and partnership board members have shown great leadership, despite not being able to meet in person. Self-advocates have also given each other incredible peer support, including through their co-produced Zoom quiz.
During the pandemic, the board’s co-chairs have taken part in regular Q&A meetings with our director of health and adult services, giving insight into issues such as vaccinations, digital inclusion and the reopening of day services. Earlier this year, board members also provided important commentary to our Care and Independence Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and as part of a peer review of our response to the pandemic.
The partnership board’s work on accessible resources – such as the creation of a video about staying safe at day services and easy-read activity packs about mental health and wellbeing – have provided vital information to people with a learning disability throughout this time.
This year, we will embark on a large-scale adult social care development transformation programme. It is essential that people who use our services are involved in this and we are excited to work with the partnership board, whose contribution will be vital.