Plan to Improve the Lives of People with a Learning Disability

Posted by: Press Team on 15 June 2022 11:54

A new strategy, led by people with learning disabilities will be launched in South Tyneside next week.

The new plan sets out the priority areas that people with learning disabilities wish to see addressed in South Tyneside over the next five years, as it was designed and led by people with a learning disability, alongside their families and professionals who support them.

Four key priorities areas for focus are:

  • Putting the person with a learning disability first and hearing what is important to them
  • People being able to live in a place they can call home
  • Receiving the right support and being an equal member of the community
  • Stopping people with a learning disability from dying early

The plan aims to improve people's lives by providing the right support at the right time, creating opportunities and spending more time listening to their needs and building on people's strengths, with support from partners like South Tyneside Council, South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, Your Voice Counts and Equal People.

Councillor Anne Hetherington, Lead Member for Adults, Health and Independence, said: "We want people with a learning disability to live their lives as they want, as part of their community with the right support from the right people.

"We believe that people with a learning disability and their families are entitled to the same life chances as other people. This plan will help to make that happen in line with the Council's priority of supporting vulnerable communities."

Dr Jim Gordon, a local GP and Clinical Director at NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: "We know that when people with learning disabilities are empowered to take a lead, it can mean better results and better services.

"One great example of this shines through: we have seen a big increase in the number of patients able to access vital annual health checks, as a result of people with learning disabilities taking a lead in promoting them.

"That's why we want to put people with learning disabilities in the driving seat and give them the power to make change."

The strategy will be launched on Tuesday 21 June at Jarrow Focus where people with a learning disability will outline what it means to them. Anyone with a learning disability and their parents, carers and supporters are welcome to join the event, which runs from 1pm to 4pm. To reserve a place, contact

Last modified: 30 June 2022 11:57