Steve Cardownie: This learning disability plan should work

Then council would like to move more people from the Royal Edinburgh Hospital into the community. Picture: Greg Macvean
Then council would like to move more people from the Royal Edinburgh Hospital into the community. Picture: Greg Macvean
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The city council has put it’s proposals for a Learning Disability Strategy out for consultation and anyone with an interest in the issue should take the time to read the plan and comment if they so wish. The council intends to adopt a full plan by the end of this year and all the views that are expressed will be considered.

We are told that there are 8584 people with a learning disability in Edinburgh and the plan should be designed to ensure they will get the assistance they require to learn skills, live independently and understand information. Once the plan has been approved groups will be formed to oversee its implementation and the council will work with others to see that it is fully delivered.

A service user group will be set up in order that people with a disability can be involved at the very outset and the proposed plan also has set out a number of key objectives such as to move more people from the Royal Edinburgh Hospital into the community, help children who have challenging behaviour earlier in their lives so that they can move easily to adult services and make more housing and support options, especially for young people, to name but a few.

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The plan will also address issues that are relevant to carers, many of whom perform invaluable tasks on a day-to-day basis which can be difficult and stressful at times. They are often the unsung heroes and everything possible should be done to make their job easier and lighter.

The council will be hoping for a meaningful response to the proposed plan in order that services can be “tailor made” for the service user, it recognises that there is always room for improvement and will strive, with stakeholders, support, to make things better for those involved.