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Learning DisabilityPeople with learning disabilities are amongst the most vulnerable and socially excluded in our society. According to GP records in 2017/18, of patients (of all ages) registered with a GP in Gateshead, only 0.6% (1,189) had a learning disability. In 2014/15 prevalence was 0.5% or 1,107 people [Chart - Learning disability prevalence][1] [See also: Learning disability prevalence by GP practice]. There were 519 adults with learning disabilities in receipt of long term support from social care services at the end of March 2019, of which 430 were aged 18 to 64 and 89 were aged 65 or over.[2] However, it is estimated that across the UK there are approximately 20 in every 1,000 people (2%) with mild learning disabilities and 3-4 in every 1,000 people (0.3 - 0.4%) with severe and profound learning disabilities in the UK.[3] Further estimates of the number of people with learning disabilities in Gateshead suggest that there may be as many as 3,853 in 2019 and that this may rise to 4,000 by 2035.[4] These estimates suggest there may be some way to go to ensure those with a learning disability are accessing primary care and other services.

housingLiving independently in appropriate and stable accommodation is a key aspect of wellbeing for people with a learning disability. Local authority records show that the Council knew of 454 learning disabled adults of working age in 2017/18. 294 or 64.8% of these adults were living in their own home or with their family compared with 77.2% across England and 82.8% in the North East. [Chart - Learning disabled in stable, appropriate accommodation].[5]

The gap in the employment rate in 2017/18 between people with a learning disability and the overall employment rate is 63.0% compared with an England average of 69.2%. [Chart - Gap between learning disabled and overall employment rate].[6]

childmale955 or 31.8 per 1,000 of Gateshead pupils had a learning difficulty in 2018, down from 1,071 in 2017. This is lower than the England average of 33.9 and North East average of 39.7 [Chart - Children with learning difficulties known to schools].[7]

See also: 'Autism' and 'Children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND)'

[1] NHS Digital, QOF Prevalence: Learning Disabilities all ages, 2017/18 (Learning Disability Profiles website)

[2] Gateshead Council Carefirst, 2018/19

[3] NHS Digital, QOF Guidance - Department of Health (2001) "Valuing People: A New Strategy for Learning Disability for the 21st Century", The Stationery Office, London (HSCIC website)

[4] POPPI and PANSI, Learning Disability Baseline Estimates - based on prevalence rates in a report by Eric Emerson and Chris Hatton of the Institute for Health Research, Lancaster University, entitled Estimating Future Need/Demand for Supports for Adults with Learning Disabilities in England, June 2004, 2014 based population projections for 2019 estimate (POPPI and PANSI websites)

[5] NHS Digital, ASCOF % adults with a learning disability who are known to the council who are recorded as living in their own home or with their family, 2017/18 (PHOF website)

[6] ONS Annual Population Survey/Labour Force Survey, Percentage point gap in the employment rate between those with a learning disability and the overall employment rate, 2017/18 (PHOF website)

[7] DfE SEN Statistics, 2018 (Learning Disability Profiles website)

Last modified on 20th January 2020

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