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What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to your chosen theme?

The Learning Disability Mortality Review (LeDeR) programme was commissioned to improve the standard and quality of care for people with a learning disability. The third annual report, published in May 2019, identified twelve deaths where constipation was the recorded cause of death had been reported to the LeDeR programme to date. This is deeply concerning, since constipation is both preventable and amenable to treatment.

Services for people with a learning disability cross health, social care, primary care, care homes, private and the voluntary sector. It is therefore vital that all health and social care staff, volunteers and carers receive consistent training and work towards the same standards of care for the management of constipation.

What does your project aim to achieve?

The aim of this project is to co-produce a STP wide (health and social care) bowel care pathway with identified bowel care standards.

This will be shared through the delivery of a STP wide training programme.

We want to reduce the number of acute hospital admissions where the primary reason for admission is constipation, prevent further deaths and improve patient health and wellbeing, whilst increasing staff knowledge and competencies.

How will the project be delivered?

An STP wide Quality Improvement plan for learning disabilities is being finalised and constipation is one of the projects. There is a multi-agency (health, social care, service users etc.) constipation task and finish group in place currently which reports to the LeDeR steering group, who are responsible for developing the pathway and  training .

What and how is your project going to share learning throughout?

Once the  pathway, standards and agreed training programme have been produced, the STP wide training programme will be co-delivered with service users, to all care homes, primary care, acute and community staff and voluntary sector.

Staff will be expected to be assessed using a competency framework. Regular audits are to be undertaken once the pathway and standards have been implemented and monitored through quality meetings with providers.

The learning from the programme can be shared a wider basis across the region and /or nationally via the Enhanced Health in Care Homes workspace and the Q community

How you can contribute

  • expert - if anyone already has a similar programme in place or has ideas, let us know!
  • Any contributions as to how this programme could be run successfully across so many sectors will be welcome.


  1. another great initiative Kate .

  2. Another great idea Kate 😊.  Have you ever met Crispin Hebron from Gloucestershire and who worked for NHSE in the LD team? He designed a tool to help improve access to healthcare for people with a learning disability. He’d be an excellent person to chat this idea through with as he’s got great expertise in this area, especially about how to measure impact.

    warm wishes


    1. thanks Anna for another really helpful comment!

      I will ensure that Trish, who is our quality improvement manager for LD, gets in contact.

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