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Learning Disability Census

Please note the Learning Disability Census 2015 is now closed.


Project status

The Learning Disabilities Census was prepared by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (now NHS Digital) and collected on the census date of 30 September in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

You can access the reports from 2013,2014 and 2015.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre received pdf icon formal directions [421kb] to undertake this work.

Content has now been migrated to the Mental Health Minimum Dataset (MHMDS), to which all providers are required to submit data every month.


Background to the collection

The Department of Health published Transforming Care: A national response to Winterbourne View Hospital and the Concordat: Programme of Action in December 2012. The review of services received indicated that failings were widespread within the operating organisation but importantly also evident across the wider care system. The concordat and actions detailed within the review seek to address poor and inappropriate care and achieve the best outcomes.

The Learning Disability Census is the mechanism employed to deliver action (17), which says that,

"The Department of Health will commission an audit of current services for people with challenging behaviour to take a snapshot of provision, numbers of out or area placements and lengths of stay. The audit will be repeated one year on to enable the learning disability programme board to assess what is happening."

The project has delivered the Learning Disability Census in 2013 and 2014 as specified in 'Transforming Care'. HSCIC will conduct the Census again in 2015 in order to assure the completeness of data anticipating the implementation of the Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS).

It is an accepted principle that services should be local, care and treatment should be appropriate and there should be a substantial and sustained reduction in hospital placements for this group of people. Taking part in the census will help monitor progress towards these goals.

The in-scope definition is:

"The Census will consider inpatients receiving treatment / care in a facility registered by the Care Quality Commission as a hospital operated by either an NHS or independent sector provider. The facility will provide mental or behavioural healthcare in England. Record level returns will reflect only inpatients or individuals on leave with a bed held vacant for them at midnight on 30 September 2015.

The individual will have 'a bed' normally designated for the treatment / care of people with a learning disability or will have 'a bed' designated for mental illness treatment / care and will be diagnosed or understood to have a learning disability and / or autistic spectrum disorder."

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