Learned of a worrying PQ recently regarding a new NHS Outcomes indicator for premature death in those with learning disabilities.
The indicator for premature death for NHS patients is 75.
What this means is that if people die under NHS care before the age of 75, it has to be counted as premature and it affects the NHS Outcomes stats. The stats are there to help the NHS strive to keep everyone alive until at least that age.
There was not previously an indicator for the learning disabled, which was good and bad. Good because they are just people who should technically live as long as you or I, but bad because they don't tend to.
An inquiry found that the learning disabled die on average 15 years earlier than the rest of us. This inquiry, which flagged the stat as a *concern* has been used as a means of separating learning disabled people out from the general stats, lowering their premature death indicator to 60 - below that of cancer and diabetes sufferers - making it the norm and then, in all probability eventually championing creating an indicator and celebrating the twisted stats it produces.
Below is the text of the PQ raised in Parliament.
This has not been settled yet so there is still time to lobby it. Learning disabled people's lives matter. They should not be expected to die earlier with no effort made to improve their outcomes and worst of all, their reduced life spans celebrated in falsely glowing stats. Write to your MPs please:
Q Asked by Chris Heaton-Harris
Asked on: 21 January 2016
Department of Health
Learning Disability: Death 23638
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, for what reasons the age at which the death of people with learning disabilities is classified as premature has been set at 60 in the draft NHS Outcomes Framework.
A Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 28 January 2016
The Department worked with Public Health England (PHE) and the confidential inquiry into premature deaths of people with learning disabilities (CIPOLD) team at the Norah Fry Centre, University of Bristol to define the learning disability mortality indicator in the NHS Outcomes Framework. The placeholder indicator was set at age 60 based on the findings of the CIPOLD at the time which identified the mean age of death in people with learning disability as 60 years old.
The Department, NHS England, PHE and the Norah Fry Centre are currently reviewing the definition of the indicator to establish if there is evidence to support it being redefined and to establish a robust and stable data source in order for the indicator to be reported and measured.