Nurturing active networks
South West Learning Disabilities Collaborative
On average, people with a learning disability die 20 years younger than their peers. Many of these
deaths continue to be from avoidable causes, such as pneumonia and sepsis.
We established the West of England Learning Disabilities Collaborative in 2019 to help tackle
this disparity in life expectancy and equity of care. The collaborative shares learning and best practice and is open to healthcare professionals, experts by experience, carers and family members.
In 2022/23 the collaborative was expanded to cover the entire South West region. It is now funded
and delivered in partnership with NHS England South West and has over 390 members.
Recent activity has focused on cancer care, spotting the soft signs of deterioration through
tools such as RESTORE2, and annual health checks. 72% of people with a learning disability in
our region had an annual health check in 2021/22.
Read more about our Learning Disabilities Collaborative here.
Reducing prescribing of opioids
We have been supporting Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) integrated care system to establish their systemwide framework to reduce harm from opioids and dependence-forming medicines.
We brought stakeholders together to create a shared vision and action plan, including a measurement plan to improve the management of chronic pain by reducing harm from opioids.
Through an established BSW opioid harm reduction working group, aligned to local medicines safety governance structures, three areas of priority were identified, including short, medium and longer-term improvements. These were: improving confidence of clinicians working in primary care; improving collaboration and prescribing between primary and secondary care; and improving integrated care records for people on dependence forming medicines. Alongside this, we helped to share learning across all three of our local integrated care systems, providing webinars and resources to support broader learning.
Find out more about our medicines safety work here.
Regional Perinatal Equity Network
Our Regional Perinatal Equity Network was launched in July 2021 by the West of England and
South West AHSNs. It provides an opportunity for those working within maternity and newborn services and related organisations, along with parents, to come together to learn and share ideas.
Network meetings have featured speakers on national approaches to tackling maternal inequity, including representatives from the NHS Race and Health Observatory and the Race Equality Taskforce at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. On a more local level, partners involved in our Black Maternity Matters project have shared their personal and professional experiences with the network in setting up support organisations for Black mothers, focusing in particular on the power of language.
Read more about the network here.