Avoiding avoidable deaths of people with a learning disability and autistic people

Rory Sheehan, Andre Strydom, Anne Worrall-Davies, Sujeet Jaydeokar, Rachel Snow-Miller

75 minutes


July 2023

Congress webinar 2023


People with a learning disability and autistic people experience health inequalities and are more likely to die avoidable deaths. This situation must change. In this session, we will explore causes of premature mortality in these groups using evidence and new data from the 'Learning from Lives and Deaths' (LeDeR) programme, a national mortality review for people with intellectual disability which has recently expanded to include deaths of autistic adults. The LeDeR coproduction (expert by experience) team will contribute to this and offer personal perspectives on health inequities. They will highlight their experience of developing interventions to reduce premature mortality and what more needs to be done.

The second part of the session will focus on local and national service responses to address avoidable deaths, focusing on how mental health services can most effectively play a part. We will take a lifespan approach and discuss opportunities for early intervention in improving physical health of children and young people with neurodevelopmental conditions. Finally, a novel mechanism for stratifying people with a learning disability by risk of premature mortality (the Dynamic Support Tool – Physical Health) will be presented with data on its impact and strategies for wider implementation. The session will include discussion time.

By the end of this session you will:

Understand the concept of avoidable mortality and the causes of avoidable deaths in people with a learning disability and autistic people.

Appreciate the impact of health inequalities on people with a learning disability and how coproduction can be used to reduce avoidable mortality.

Recognise the role of mental health services in reducing avoidable mortality in vulnerable groups, including the use of national policy levers and local evidence-based initiatives.


Chair: Rory Sheehan, East London NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom

Andre Strydom, King's College London, United Kingdom

Anne Worrall-Davies, NHS England, Leeds, United Kingdom

Sujeet Jaydeokar, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Chester, United Kingdom

Rachel Snow-Miller, NHS LeDeR programme

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