On May 4, NHS England published the Learning Disability Mortality Review (LeDeR) Programme. This work, conducted by a team from the University of Bristol, was commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) on behalf of NHS England.
Work towards the report began in June 2015 and in the following months, health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt helped to highlight its importance in reducing premature deaths of learning disabled people by responding to an urgent question in the House of Commons about the publication of the Mazars review that was published that December.
The Mazars review found that less than 1% of unexpected deaths of learning disabled people were investigated by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. The review was commissioned by David Nicholson, then CEO of NHS England, after my partner Rich and I had met with him to discuss the preventable death of our son Connor in Southern Health’s care.
We were very concerned that other people had died prematurely without investigation, after discovering the Trust had badged Connor’s death as natural causes.
Connor died a few months after the publication of another report in March 2013, the Confidential Inquiry into the Premature Deaths of Learning Disabled People (CIPOLD), written again by the team at Bristol University.