NHS England and King’s College London announce new partnership

NHS England and Kings College London will seek to tackle health inequalities, as part of a new collaboration.

The partnership, announced by Kings College London, means that £1.75 million will be pledged to support learning disabilities through the National Learning Disability and Autism programme.

Dr Rory Sheehan, Clinical Senior Lecturer at King’s said: “The LeDeR programme is vital in improving the health and reducing premature deaths of people with learning disability. We are very pleased to be leading the academic collaboration and ensuring that information captured in LeDeR reviews is used to maximum benefit.”

The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, based at King’s, will lead the project and will use data analysis and deep dives to contribute to the programme.

A selection of academic institutions will support King’s College including University of Central Lancashire, Kingston and St George’s University, and London South Bank University. A network of experts and advocates will be a part of the collaboration, as well as research facilities like the National Institute for Health Research Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre.

Professor Andre Strydom, Project Lead and Professor in Intellectual Disabilities at King’s, said: “We are delighted to be leading this important programme of research to help inform the NHS’s drive to improve the quality of care of people with learning disabilities and autistic people. We will build on previous work to help ensure that the issues underlying premature mortality is addressed.”

Professor Umesh Chauhan, University of Central Lancashire said: “We are delighted to have been chosen as one of three universities to develop further this internationally renowned programme. We have a strong track record of working collaboratively with health and social care partners across the North West and we will continue to do so as we bring our expertise in quality improvement and addressing health inequality to this programme.”

Recently, NHS England also announced a new independent chair of the Learning Disability and Autism Children and Young People’s Steering Group, with Anne Longfield OBE appointed to champion the rights of young people with learning disabilities.