Kisharon, Langdon and Norwood have commissioned the first ever jointly-commissioned service-mapping exercise to analyse the provision and demand for learning disability services in the Jewish community over the next 10-15 years.
The report identifies eleven strategic challenges, given anticipated demand for learning disability services used by members of the Jewish community. Eighteen local authorities formed part of the analysis in total – eleven of which fell within the London boroughs.
While the report presents a snapshot of several challenges faced, it is clear to the organisations involved that choices and decisions need to be made on what is to be offered, where services will be located and from where funding will be available.
The report describes a vibrant, diverse and constantly evolving range of services that operate successfully in highly-challenging circumstances, and for which people with learning disabilities and their families are keen to be ever more involved.
Areas covered in the extensive and wide ranging analysis include housing; education and socio-demographic profiling as well as local authority expenditure. The 250-page report also includes extensive qualitative and quantitative research from people with learning disabilities, their families, SENCOs, staff and trustees.
The findings conclude that the demand for services is driven by multiple factors including demography, what services are commissioned, what services are provided, as well as the needs and wishes of families of people with learning disabilities.
The report anticipates that an ageing and growing learning disability population will result in materially increased demands from the community, in particular in relation to supported living.
Particular challenges of learning disability provision include how relatively small increases in the number of people (particularly those with more complex needs) pose significant service and funding challenges.
By 2035, it is estimated that the eighteen local authorities will have an additional 640 people with learning disabilities. This alone will lead to an anticipated extra 100 supported living flat places required at approximately £18m.
The report further concludes that local authorities may not sufficiently increase funding to the levels required which could also further impact on the needs of increasingly large numbers of people with learning disabilities living into old age. Alternative approaches will need to be considered to meet the formidable challenges likely to be presented.
Following the publication, the boards of Langdon, Norwood and Kisharon each resolved to explore the case, appetite and options for working together to find solutions to the strategic challenges identified.