Lead Organisation: Regional Partnership Board
This consultation was carried out to help develop the North Wales learning disability strategy.
Nearly everyone agreed that the following things were important to them:
- Having something meaningful to do
- Having a good place to live
- Having the right support to get what I want
- Being healthy
- Being safe
They are all important to make me happyQuote from a person who took part in the consultation
The main messages from the consultation were:
- Need for real choice and control with a focus on rights and equality for people with learning disabilities. The importance of taking a person-centred approach.
- More inclusion and integration of people with learning disabilities into the wider community. Including the need for staff training about specific learning difficulties and an awareness that not all disabilities are visible. There was a lot of support for the idea that we should ‘help each other’ but there were also some concerns about the pressures this could put on people.
- The support people receive from family and providers often works well and there was praise for dedicated and committed staff. Specific services were mentioned as working well including carer breaks, social services, health services, charities, third sector and independent organisations including advocacy services.
- Joint working between social care and health was highlighted as something that works well in some areas and something that needs to be improved in others including better information sharing systems and issues around funding.
- There were also mixed views about how well direct payments and support budgets worked for people. Some said they worked well for them and other commented that they need much more support to use them and shared difficulties of finding a direct payment worker.
The consultation also highlighted issues that can prevent people from experiencing good outcomes including:
- Support for carers: Carer breaks was mentioned by many people in the consultation. Some of the specific issues include a lack of short breaks for families, provision for people with more complex needs such as challenging behaviour and autism and regular and predictable provision that is open all year round. People mentioned the importance of considering the impact on families, including the needs of siblings of children with learning disabilities. Also the importance of listening to parents and supporting parents/carers to building resilience and develop coping mechanisms. People also mentioned the needs of older carers and planning for the future when they may be no longer able to provide care.
- Funding: There was concern about having enough funding available for services. A few people mentioned the need to work together and consider merging budgets to try and address these issues and the need to make better use of technology.
- Transport: People mentioned how important transport was to them for inclusion in activities including having someone who can drive them, bus passes and subsidised transport. People also mentioned the orange wallet system that helps people with using public transport.
- Access to information: A few people mentioned the need for more information about the services that are available, details of who is able to access support from them and availability of services in Welsh. The staff consultation highlighted the importance of promoting and developing Dewis Cymru as a source of information about the services and support available in local communities.
- Workforce development: People talked about the importance of training and support for staff, particularly support workers. Also the importance of training the wider workforce, such as training for GPs about the needs of people with learning disabilities and how to access community teams.
The full consultation report is available as an appendix to the North Wales Learning Disability Strategy.