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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 2016/17, of patients (of all ages) registered with a GP in the NewcastleGateshead CCG area, only 0.6% (3,252) had a learning disability. (Data is now only available at CCG level however previous data for Gateshead in 2014/15 showed a prevalence of 0.5% or 1,107 people) [Chart - Learning Disability Prevalence].[1] There were 480 adults with learning disabilities in receipt of long term support from social care services at the end of March 2018, of which 400 were aged 18 to 64 and 80 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 3,794 in 2017 and that this may rise to 3,992 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 464 learning disabled adults of working age in 2016/17. 340 or 73.3% of these adults were living in their own home or with their family compared with 76.2% across England and 81.1% in the North East. [Chart - Learning disabled in stable, appropriate accommodation].[5]

The gap in the employment rate in 2016/17 between people with a learning disability and the overall employment rate is 62.3% compared with an England average of 68.7%.[6] In 2011/12, the gap was smaller at 58.4% [Chart - Gap between learning disabled and overall employment rate].

childmale1,534 or 5.4% of Gateshead pupils had a learning disability in 2017, up from 622 in 2014. This compares with an England average of 5.6% and a North East average of 6.0% [Chart - Learning disabled pupils].[7]

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


[1] HSCIC, QOF Prevalence: Learning Disabilities all ages, 2016/17 (Disease and Risk Factor Prevalence website)

[2] Gateshead Council Carefirst, 2017/18

[3] HSCIC, 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 2017 estimate (POPPI and PANSI websites)

[5] HSCIC, 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, 2016/17 (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, 2016/17 (PHOF website)

[7] DfE SEN Statistics, 2017 (Children's and Young People's Mental Health and Wellbeing website)

Last modified on 19th September 2018

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