Refocusing health and wellbeing for people with a learning disability: the action we need


Date: Thursday 12th September 2024
Venue: Kingston University London, KT2 7LB

Who should attend: Healthcare professionals, carers, commissioners of services, and service providers who plan and deliver services to people with learning disabilities across the statutory, independent and voluntary sectors.



Learning Disability Today and Kingston University are delighted to host a one-day conference looking at how we can positively influence change to improve the lives of people with a learning disability, their families and those who support them.

This conference is an excellent way for professionals working in the field of learning disability and/or autism to hear about new practices, enhance their professional development and network with an all-inclusive learning disability community.

It is common knowledge that people with a learning disability experience high levels of health inequality. Research has shown that, compared with the general population, people with a learning disability are three to four times as likely to die from an avoidable medical cause. Most of the avoidable deaths were because timely and effective treatment was not given.

This conference will look at how we can overcome barriers to accessing healthcare with the aim of reducing health inequalities and by putting people with a learning disability at the heart of their care.

It will also discuss the current workforce crisis. The growing shortage of learning disabilities nurses and care workers means people with a learning disability face inadequate support, limited access to healthcare services, delays in diagnosis, and suboptimal care provision. This conference will debate who we need to recruit to the sector and how.

Another important theme is how we begin to shift away from crisis management to community support. This has been the ambition of numerous policy changes in the past 20 years, which have promised much and delivered little. In this conference, we will ask where we go next and how can we finally put talk into action.


Time:              Session

09.30              Registration and coffee

10.00              Chair’s welcome: Jim Blair, Independent Consultant Nurse Learning Disabilities, Associate Professor                             Intellectual (Learning) Disabilities at Kingston University and St Georges’ University of London

                           Opening address


10: 30:             Shifting away from crisis management: translating promises into action


11.00               Preventing the preventable deaths

11.30:              Coffee break

11.45:              Breakout session 1 (see choices below)

12.30:              Lunch


13.30               Growing older and planning ahead 


14.00:              Developing new approaches to the workforce: attracting the right people with the right skills

14.30:              Breakout session 2

15.00:              Coffee break


15.15               Panel debate: Putting policy into practice: the action we need


16.00:              Chair’s closing comments


Breakout session choices

  • Session one: Workforce crisis – who do we recruit and how?

  • Session two: Preventing the preventable deaths and healthcare inequality

  • Session three: Shifting away from crisis management to community support – Putting people at the heart of their care

Event Details

There are a limited number of free tickets for people with learning disabilities and their unpaid carers. Please email [email protected] to request free tickets.

Date: 12 September, 2024

Start time: 09:30

End time: 16:00

Venue: Kingston Hill, Kingston upon Thames, KT2 7LB

Phone: +44 (0)1273 434 943

Email: [email protected]