4 May 2018

NHS England have today released their annual report on The Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) Programme, which was established to support local areas to review the deaths of people with learning disabilities, identify learning from those deaths, and take forward the learning into service improvement initiatives.

Deborah Coles, Executive Director of INQUEST said: “Only 103 out of 1,311 deaths were reviewed due to the large volume referred and inadequate resources committed by NHS England. Even within this small sample, abuse, neglect, delays in treatment or gaps in care played a part in 1 in 8 of the deaths.
Only 5 percent of these deaths had a Coroner’s inquest. Time and time again, it is grieving families who are left to fight for accountability and expose systemic failings in the care of learning disabled people.
The human rights of learning disabled people are not being respected. Without robust investigation and scrutiny, there cannot be accountability. There is an urgent need for action to ensure learning from these deaths and effect policy and cultural change".
Sara Ryan, mother of Connor Sparrowhawk said: We've reached the stage now where the label of learning disability is effectively a diagnosis of a life limiting illness. We don't need anymore reports. We need action."



For further information please contact Sarah Uncles on 020 7263 1111 or [email protected]

  • Download The Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) Programme annual report here.
  • Connor Sparrowhawk was 18 years old when he died on 4 July 2013. Connor had autism, a learning disability and epilepsy.
  • In October 2015 an inquest jury concluded that Connor’s death was contributed to by neglect.
  • Last month, Southern Health were fined £2m over the deaths of two patients, including that of Connor Sparrowhawk.