30% of learning disabled adults not living in 'stable or appropriate' homes

More than 30 per cent of adults with learning disabilities in Bucks are not living in stable or appropriate homes, figures reveal.
More than 30 per cent of adults with learning disabilities in Bucks are not living in stable or appropriate homes, figures reveal.

More than 30 per cent of adults with learning disabilities in Bucks are not living in “stable or appropriate” homes, figures reveal.

According to figures taken from 2016/17 – the latest data available – 30.2 per cent of adults aged 18 to 64 with learning disabilities are not living in suitable accommodation in the county.

During a meeting of Bucks County Council’s (BCC) health and wellbeing board on Thursday (December 6) chairman, Martin Tett, branded the figures “worrying”.

He said: “It always worries me there is not enough accommodation suitable enough for people with learning disabilities.

“The question is how one actually ensures that accommodation is built, or if it is built how it is made available to people.

“It is quite a complex picture. I have visited one of the developments in Amersham some years ago that was built specifically for people with learning disabilities, and it can take a lot of modification to make these places really fit for people with severe learning disabilities.”

The statistics for Bucks are above the national average – as 23.8 per cent of adults with learning disabilities across England do not have access to a suitable home.

A BCC performance report states there were “data quality issues” in 2016/17 that skewed figures, and recent data for 2017/18 is due to be published soon.

Director of communities, health and adult social care, Gill Quinton, said the issue is “tricky and sticky” and the figures have not changed significantly in recent years.

However, she assured the board that “there is a lot of work underway” to address the issue and a new specialist group with the district councils has been launched to look at how the problems can be resolved.

She said: “There is a lot of work underway to try and address this particular problem. It is a tricky and a sticky performance indicator that has not moved over the past couple of years.

“Just recently we have established a specialist group involving all the colleagues from the district councils to start to look at how we can unblock some of with issues within specialist housing.

“We have also just received some funding from the Local Government Association to commence a specialist project to look at our model of support for people with learning disabilities, which we hope will start to identify some alternative forms of accommodation we can provide.”