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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 further details 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.

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 being able to 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 home.
  • 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 home.
  • We will improve the quality and safety of inpatient care when people do have to go into hospital.
  • We will provide a better start in life for children and young people.
  • We will improve services for the diagnosis of autism.
  • We will improve health inequalities, providing 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 from Lives and Deaths – people with a learning disability and autistic people (LeDeR) programme.
  • We will work in partnership to encourage innovation while continuously improving safety and efficiency.
  • We will identify opportunities to collaborate in the design and delivery of future services.


We hope that delivering on these key priorities will 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 from Lives and Deaths – people with a learning disability and autistic people (LeDeR) Programme

The Learning from Lives and Deaths – people with a learning disability and autistic people (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 and autistic people.  We are responsible for co-ordinating this programme and taking forward the actions from learning within Somerset.   For more detail about the Somerset programme and our progress please read our most recent report.

Somerset LeDeR Annual Report 2021-22

Somerset LeDeR Annual Report 2020-21

It is important for us to be informed when a person with learning disabilities has died. Anyone can do this including family doctors (GPs), health and social care staff, family members, friends and carers.  Visit the notify us, see how to do this by visiting the NHS LeDeR website and click on the link to report a death.


In Somerset we have launched a LeDeR newsletter to raise awareness and keep the public and other organisations informed of our activities and the learning that is 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  April 2023 (9th edition)

Somerset LeDeR Newsletter  November 2022 (8th edition)

Somerset LeDeR Newsletter  June 2022 (7th edition)

Learning Briefs – A series of briefing documents on topics frequently arising from our LeDeR Reviews

  1.  Dysphagia  (eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties)
  2.  Oral Health