New bid to help people with learning difficulties in South Tyneside

Council bosses in South Tyneside are aiming to make life easier for people with learning difficulties.

Cllr Anne Hetherington.
Cllr Anne Hetherington.

Launched next week, the new plan sets out the priority areas that people with learning disabilities wish to see addressed and has been designed and led by them, alongside their families and the professionals who support them.

Four key priorities areas for focus are:

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:: Putting the person with a learning disability first and hearing what is important to them

:: People being able to live in a place they can call home

:: Receiving the right support and being an equal member of the community

:: Preventing people with a learning disability from dying early

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The plan aims to improve people's lives by providing the right support at the right time, with support from the council, South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, and local suport groups.

Cllr Anne Hetherington, the council’s lead member for adults, health and independence, said: “We want people with a learning disability to live their lives as they want, as part of their community with the right support from the right people.

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“We believe that they and their families are entitled to the same life chances as other people and this plan will help to make that happen.”

Dr Jim Gordon, a local GP and clinical director at NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: "We know that when people with learning disabilities are empowered to take a lead, it can mean better results and better services.

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"We have already seen a big increase in the number of patients able to access vital annual health checks, as a result of people with learning disabilities taking a lead in promoting them.

"That's why we want to give people with learning disabilities the power to make change."

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The strategy will be launched on Tuesday June 21 at Jarrow Focus where people with a learning disability will outline what it means to them.

Anyone with a learning disability and their parents, carers and supporters are welcome to join the event, which runs from 1pm to 4pm.

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To reserve a place, email [email protected]