Health and Adult Social Care Policy and Scrutiny Committee

11 May 2021


Report of the Corporate Director of People


Update on the All Age Learning Disability Strategy


1.      York Health and Wellbeing Board ratified the All Age Learning Disability Strategy in March 2019, following a period of co-production with members of the Learning Disability Partnership and other stakeholders

2.      The strategy runs from 2019 to 2024 and identifies four overarching areas for development, with a number of priorities for action across the city.  The strategy was launched at an event at the Priory Street Centre in October 2019.

3.     This report provides a brief update on progress.


4.      The four key priorities areas highlighted within the Strategy are:

                                 i.    Education, life-long learning and employment

                                ii.    Being as healthy as possible

                              iii.    Independent living

                              iv.    Participating in society

5.      Each of these priorities is the focus of a dedicated, multi-agency strategy working group.  Following the launch and before the first national lockdown, the Strategy Groups had formed and had started work on their areas of work.


6.      All groups were still working on getting the right attendance at the groups and ensuring that someone with lived experience and a carer were represented on each group.


7.      Education, life-long learning and employment – this group has begun to meet again in 2021.  The main focus of the group is on employment as the key pathway after full-time education.  The group has drawn on feedback from people with lived experience to understand the challenges people face when entering employment and volunteering opportunities, and the types of support which would help.  The York People First parliament on employment provided vital insight for this sub-group’s agenda.  This work stream will also collaborate with the other sub-groups to make sure the best possible progress is made together.

8.   Being as healthy as possible – the last meeting looked at:

·           The health screening matrix and annual health checks, including Medication review – check what this includes, uptake of specific tests and screening, such as Diabetes and prostate health. 

·           How do we reach people that we find harder to reach to access these health checks and tests? For example by using accessible information about screening tests


·           How to raise awareness across the City and involve GP practices with this?


·           Look at the information about the different health checks which are carried out across council, community health and primary care for people with a Learning Disability. Could we video someone who has been for tests and ask them to talk about their experience (in a positive way)?  

9.       Independent Living – the last meeting of the group took place in February 2020.  The group at that time still felt the membership was not complete. The group decided the key area of focus was accommodation and the community.  The group also explored people’s information needs and the need to check in with other sub groups so as not to duplicate work they were doing. Their intended next steps were to hold a few focus groups around independence and choice, to gather people’s views and prioritise areas of work.


10.    Participating in Society – the last meeting of the group was in December 2019.   When the group had last met they had discussed producing a questionnaire to find out about the barriers that people with a learning disability had in terms of participating in society.  This would look at the barriers and things that help people with a learning disability to be able to go out and about, use transport, see friends, use services and facilities which are generally used by others.  This was due to be progressed. Discussion took place about people having a right to a relationship, feeling safe, transport (which needs to be affordable), and support at an events.  These were seen as a really important part of being able to participate in society.  Employment and volunteering were also raised as key elements, and it was agreed these should be included following a conversation with the sub-group who are looking at Education and life-long learning and employment to see how they are gathering their information, and whether this could be included in the questionnaire.


11.    During 2020, as a result of the pandemic lockdown, work on the strategy was paused, and no partnership meetings were held. 

12.    During the pandemic there has been work done in relation to Learning Disabilities and the COVID-19 response.  There were presentations about this about the Partnership.  Some of the headlines are summarised below:

·               In the first lockdown the Council commissioned Toolbox to deliver activity boxes to people at home and people in accommodation with support.

·               The Council worked with United Response to deliver a meals service for those living in the community who may have struggled to get healthy meals.

·               Day providers have worked to get zoom activities in place and also did / do doorstep chats.

·               The Social Work team made / make welfare calls to people with learning disabilities and their families. 

·               Activities have now started to open up and people with learning disabilities are starting to go back to services in a COVID safe way following all government guidance.

·               Short breaks - there has been a limited short breaks service and this is now starting to open up more.

·               Support has been given to help people to access Information Technology equipment and this has largely worked but there are still issues and it is acknowledged that this will continue to be hard for some people.

·               The Council asked the advocacy group to find out how well people with learning disabilities were able to access online resources and social networks, and what their main concerns were.  A presentation was given to the Learning Disability Partnership about these findings.

·               The Council provides some services for adults with learning disabilities.  The Community Outreach Service has been running throughout the pandemic offering people vital support in their homes.  Pinetrees, a service for adults with complex needs, has opened up again in line with government guidelines. There is still an ongoing review about Community Base, Greenworks and Pastimes.  In the meantime a service has opened at the old Pastimes site whilst the review is finalised.


13.    The partnership met in March 2021 using Zoom.

14.    A presentation was provided at the meeting about the All Age Learning Disabilities Strategy.  This reported that the Strategy work planned had not started due to the demands of responding to COVID-19, it asked the Partnership if they considered the priorities to the be the same and also highlighted links to other areas of activity.


15.    The Strategy Group has now been reformed and has met again.  The leads of each group are now  reconvening their groups and will review the priorities within the strategy, sense check them and to see if there are any other actions which may be considered to be a priority coming out of lockdown. 


16.    The Partnership highlighted the following areas that they consider are also a priority:


a.   Social isolation – how do we reach out to people with little or no support

b.   Communication – keeping people informed in an accessible way

c.   Participating in Society – how communities and services have changed since COVID-19

d.   All voices are heard and engaging with families together, make sure consultation happens in a timely way


17.    These will all be considered by the sub groups.  It was also agreed that the strategy had to link into other areas of work to ensure that nothing is missed.



18.    There has been no specific consultation about this report as there are no new recommendations.  The work of the learning disability partnership is co-produced with people with learning disabilities, family carers and friends, and with partner agencies in this area.


19.    N/A




20.    N/A

Council Plan


21.    N/A (there are no new proposals).



22.    N/A (there are no new proposals).

·           Financial

·           Human Resources (HR)

·           Equalities

·           Legal

·           Crime and Disorder

·           Information Technology (IT)

·           Property

·           Other

Risk Management


23.    N/A


        Recommendations: That the update be noted.

Reason:    To ensure the Committee is kept updated on progress.

Contact Details





Chief Officer Responsible for the report: 



Pippa Corner

Assistant Director – joint commissioning

People Directorate



Amanda Hatton

Corporate Director - People


Report Approved












Specialist Implications Officer(s) : None


Wards Affected: 





For further information please contact the author of the report



Background Papers: All Age Learning Disability Strategy 2019 – 2024