Update - Transforming Learning Disabilities Services in Wales

Update - Transforming Learning Disabilities Services in Wales

Alder Advice led a programme of work to transform learning disability services across Wales, based upon our Progression Model, in 2013. The final report providing the findings from the programme and recommendations from Alder Advice and the SSIA was published in February 2014. The latest SSIA Transforming Learning Disabilities Services in Wales Annual Update is now available at but in summary the update explains that at the beginning of 2015, SSIA asked each lead authority (demonstrator sites) to provide an update on their current position and how they have implemented the Opportunities Assessment

Overall the local authorities involved, provided positive feedback on the impact that using the Progression Model has had on the lives of people with learning disabilities. They highlighted the following:

Vale of Glamorgan: Has used evidence from the assessments done to inform its new commissioning
strategy, they have established a new Learning Disability Strategic Board, and increased use of assistive technology to right size care packages. This has considerably reduced the cost of supported accommodation.

Western Bay: Has developed a new, more effective model for Community Learning Disability
Team as a result of using the Progression approach. Higlight include:

  • Neath Port Talbot specifically establishing a new project ‘Pathways to Independence Project’. THis approach saw a decrease from 78 residential care placements in 2012 to just 42 in 2014 and an increase from 92 accommodation with support packages to 127. NPT's financial commitment to Residential Care in 2011/12 was 48% (£4.8m) of total expenditiure and significantly reduced to 35% (£2.6m) in 2014 giving a saving of £2.2m. 
  • Bridgend atook forward several developments and achieved a saving of £440,000 in 2014/15, with a projected further saving of £520,000 for 2015/16.

West Wales: Modernised their Learning Disability Services, and enhanced their work with additional project funding from the Regional Collaborative Fund. The partnership developed a Statement of Intent (SoI) for Learning Disability Services and this set the strategic direction for the next three years with clear outcomes. Savings of £617,654 were seen in 2014/15 as a result of reviewing 60 care setting contracts that were valued at £7,510,000. All work undertaken was done collaboratively through the Mid and West Wales Learning Disability Partnership.

Caerphilly: The Learning Disability Team continues to follows the Progression approach and uses it as part of daily practice. The commissioning of services is now far more streamlined and robust, but the team are always striving to improve further in line with the recommendation made by Alder Advices. The main impats have been:

  • A reduction in referrals into the team by providers requesting increased funding.
  • The team are also in a much stronger position to effectively negotiate requests for increased funding by better understanding the developmental and support needs of individuals. Since 2011-14 the authorities has achieved savings of £201,592. The biggest saving was during 2011-12 where they saved £144,224.

Gwynedd: Have focused on three specific proactive projects within day care services, which are;

  • Re-reviewing all supported housing placements within Gwynedd,
  • Inter countydiscussions with service providers and
  • Reviewing current out of county placements.

There has been an evident growth in the use of assistive technology which has helped reduce service expenditure, an example of this can been seen within their enablement support plan e.g. in March 2013, there were only 3 receiving basic packages and 1 receiving an enhanced package (4 individuals in total). This compares to March 2015 where 7 received basic packages and 8 receive enhanced (15 individuals in total).

The full report is available here