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Somerset is committed to transforming care to make our health and care services better and support people with learning disabilities and/or autism to live in the community with the care they need and close to home.

Somerset has a number of groups and networks that are available to provide various services to people with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism. You can find of these by visiting Somerset’s Local Offer and Somerset Community Connect.

Our Strategic Vision Statement

Our strategic vision for Somerset (in line with the NHS Long Term Plan) is to support people with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism to look after their health and lead healthier lives.

In Somerset, we have launched a LeDeR newsletter to keep the public and other organisations informed of our activities and the learning that is coming out of the reviews.  These are published below.

We aim to do this by making sure that people receive timely and appropriate health checks and have better access to health services whilst improving the level of awareness and understanding across the NHS of how we can best support them as individuals.

We want people with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism to be able to say that:

  • They have a fulfilling life as Somerset citizens, including having equal opportunities and choose where to work, study, enjoy leisure and social activities as well as have meaningful relationships and friendships
  • They are able to have and/or remain in their own homes
  • They can access good quality mainstream services when needed
  • They have timely access to good quality and safe specialist services as close to home as possible

If they need access to specialist bed provision this would be for the shortest possible time required.

Our underpinning principles to deliver this vision for Somerset people with Learning Disability and Autism

  • We will reduce the reliance on specialist inpatient care and strengthen community support to enable people to remain in their own homes
  • We will improve the quality and safety of inpatient care when people do have to go into hospital
  • We will provide good quality, accessible healthcare to all people with learning disabilities (including improving the updating, and quality of, Annual Health Checks for people with a learning disability)
  • We will deliver on the commitments of the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) programme
  • We will work in partnership to induce innovation while continuously improving safety and efficiency
  • We will work together to manage within our available resources as a system (across health and social care)
  • We will identify opportunities to jointly commission/collaborate in the design and delivery of future services, building on existing pooled budgets.

We hope that delivering on these key priorities should mean that more people with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism who live in Somerset will be able to live their lives in the way that they choose.

Learning Disability Mortality Review Programme

The Learning Disability Mortality Review (LeDeR) programme is a national programme that aims to make improvements to the quality of health and social care services for people with learning disabilities.  We are responsible for coordinating this programme and taking forward the actions from learning within Somerset. 

Somerset LeDeR Annual Report 2019

It is important for us to be informed when a person with learning disabilities has died. Anyone can notify us, see how to do this by visiting the LeDeR Notify a death webpage.


Our Somerset LeDeR newsletter aims to raise awareness amongst the public and other organisations in key areas from the learning coming out of the reviews.  It also showcases examples of best practice and good work being done in Somerset, as well as sharing useful resources.

Somerset LeDeR Newsletter- Dysphagia – 6th Edition, October 2020

Becoming a Reviewer

Our reviewers are vital in ensuring we continue to draw out key learning and examples of best practice from reviews. They are from a range of backgrounds and organisations across Health and Social Care. For more information the the role of a reviewer and what a review entails, visit the LeDeR Programme webpage. Paid reviewer positions will be listed on NHS Jobs when recruitment for dedicated posts is underway, however there is opportunity to volunteer as a reviewer if you are able to commit spare time to supporting our work.