A hospital trust has decided to prioritise people with learning disabilities for elective treatment, after analysis showed they were disproportionately affected by lengthy waits for care, along with some people who have a minority ethnic background.
The decision forms part of wider analysis at Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust of how the impact of covid, and work to recover from it, can exacerbate health inequalities and how this can be addressed.
The FT said in a board paper it would “initially prioritise [people with a learning disability] for treatment after cancer and urgent patients”.
Papers said it wanted to prioritise patients “around health inequalities and need based” rather than chronologically, as part of its covid elective recovery work.
It made the decision about people with a learning disability as they have a shorter average life expectancy “and therefore the impact of waiting for treatment can both further reduce this as well as disproportionately impact on their quality of life whilst waiting,” according to trust board papers.
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Source: HSJ, 4 June 2021