Respiratory Disease

The North East and Cumbria Learning Disability Network is working in partnership with the North East North Cumbria Northern Clinical Physical Health Network on respiratory illness in people with a learning disability.

People with a learning disability face significant health inequality compared to that of the general population. As outlined in the 2019 Learning Disability Mortality Review (LeDeR) report (published in July 2020) people with a learning disability are dying on average 27 years sooner than that of the general population of a preventable death. The main causes of death identified were:

  • Pneumonia
  • Aspiration pneumonia
  • Dementia
  • Sepsis
  • Epilepsy

The 2019/20 Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted these inequalities further and shown that they are growing. These are outlined in the Deaths of people identified as having learning disabilities with Covid-19 in England in the Spring of 2020. One of the key findings from this report was that everyone in the sample had an existing health condition the most frequent ones were:

  • Impaired mobility
  • Respiratory conditions
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity

This learning disability and aspiration pneumonia scenario linked below is part of a series of RightCare scenarios that support local health systems to think strategically about designing optimal care for people (and their carers) with high impact conditions.