National Director of Learning Disability and Autism appointed

NHS England has appointed a new National Director of Learning Disability and Autism; Tom Cahill will take up the role and will help implement the recommendations for learning disabilities, in the NHS Long Term Plan.   

NHS mental health director Claire Murdoch said: “The NHS is committed to improving the health of people with a learning disability and I am delighted that Tom has joined us to push forward our plans to provide more care and treatment to people in the community and closer to home. 

“As a former mental health nurse with significant leadership experience, Tom has a wealth of skills and knowledge which he will bring to the role to drive up standards across the NHS and independent sector so that all inpatients with a learning disability or autism receive safe and dignified care.” 

Tom Cahill has worked as Chief Executive of Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust for the past 12 years and will leave the Trust in November of this year.  

Tom Cahill, said: “I am delighted to be taking up the role of National Learning Disability and Autism Director. 

“I look forward to working with colleagues across health and social care to improve the experiences of people with a learning disability to ensure they receive the care they deserve, either from the NHS or the independent sector, and as part of that I am keen to work closely with families and those who have lived experience of using these services.” 

NHS England and Improvement are planning to review every inpatient with a learning disability, autism or both in a mental health inpatient care setting, to establish if each patient has a discharge date, and care, treatment plan in place and if not, the review will verify why not.