NHS England RightCare learning disability and aspiration pneumonia scenario
Pneumonia, in particular aspiration pneumonia, is a prominent cause of death in people with a learning disability
NHS England have released a new RightCare scenario in June 2023 that is designed to support local health systems to think strategically about designing optimal care for people with a learning disability and aspiration pneumonia (and their carers). It discusses the fact that respiratory disease is one of the biggest causes of death for people with a learning disability in England, with pneumonia, in particular aspiration pneumonia, a prominent cause of death in people with a learning disability (up to 15% of all respiratory deaths reported to Learning from Lives and Death review (LeDeR) were caused by aspiration pneumonia in 2021).
The resource discusses two pathways, one optimal, one suboptimal, for fictional patient Robert who has cerebral palsy and a moderate learning disability. ‘Information points’ are written throughout each journey which highlight the key themes of optimal care for pneumonia. In the suboptimal journey the seriousness of Roberts condition is not recognised as his symptoms and subsequent behaviour are incorrectly presumed to be signs of his disability, meaning the right treatment was not implemented in a timely manner, resulting in deterioration.
For more information, please visit the NHS England website.