Learning Disabilities

Key findings/recommendations (published March 2024)

Wirral Learning Disability & Autistic Spectrum Disorder Profile

This profile presents published data on the estimated population as well as those known to services as well as support offered by education, adult social care and health services.

Key findings/recommendations
  • Prevalence: Numbers of people with autism known to services in Wirral are greater than those estimated using recent research (3,950 known vs 2,330 estimated). Numbers known to primary care1, education4 and social care have increased in recent years

  • Projected Trends: Projected trends are unable to be completed at present. This relates to population changes following Census 2021 awaiting inclusion into data sources such as POPPI and PANSI.

  • Support from Schools and Children’s Services4: The number of pupils in Wirral overall has decreased in recent years, however this is not reflected in the trend for pupils with SEN/EHCP, which has increased in the same period.

  • Children in Need (CiN): Learning Disabilities represent a substantial proportion of CiN who have a disability; more than one in three for Wirral. 

  • Support from Adult Social Care: Wirral supports less adults with a learning disability per head of population than Cheshire & Merseyside, but has a higher rate than CIPFA neighbours, North West and England for both 18-64 and 65+ years.

  • • The proportion of adults living on their own or with their families8 is lower in Wirral than in Cheshire & Merseyside but higher than England)

  • The proportion in paid employment8 is lower than both Cheshire & Merseyside and England.

  • Although the number of Safeguarding (Section 42) enquiries involving people with a learning disability has fallen recently; the Wirral rate has been higher than England since 2019/20.

  • Screening/Annual Health Checks are not offered to children under 14, or to people with Autism-only at present. This remains an area of significant challenge for Cheshire and Merseyside. However, in Wirral uptake has improved in line with national trends and was just under 80% in 2022/23.

  • Seasonal flu vaccination rate has improved in recent years, despite a small dip in the most reason season (2022/23). This is in line with national trends as well as those seen across Cheshire & Merseyside.

  • Weight status is better recorded for people with a learning disability than for those without. In Wirral, the rate of obesity in people with LD is considerably higher for females than males.

  • Cancer: The low screening uptake for cervical and bowel screening for people with learning disabilities is considerable. However, in 2022/23 screening for breast cancer was at a similar level to those without a learning disability. 

  • Long-term conditions: In 2022/23, Wirral continued to record a higher prevalence for epilepsy, severe mental illness, dementia, non-type 1 diabetes and hyperthyroidism in those with a learning disability that those without a learning disability.

Previous and related content
Local Offer: What is the Local Offer?

SENDLO brings together information about the local services and support available across education, health and social care for families with children and young people aged 0 to 25, who have special educational needs and/ or disabilities.

Visit the SENDLO to find out more.

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