Adult Learning Disability Commissioning Plan 2023 to 2028 - TEXT Only

Adult Learning Disability Commissioning Plan 2023 to 2028


We are delighted to present Our Plan for Services for Adults with a Learning Disability in Manchester, from 2023 to 2028.

Working alongside the Planning with People with a Learning Disability Board, Manchester People First, and other key friends and colleagues, we have developed a plan which sets out what we are going to do to help improve services over the next 5 years.

We have used important views from local Manchester people with a Learning Disability and their families and carers to help write this plan. We are extremely grateful for this.

Our vision (where we want to be over the next 5 years) is to make sure:

“Adults with a learning disability in Manchester will be supported to grow and develop as individuals. They will be able to make their own choices to lead full lives and enjoy the best health and wellbeing possible”.

We look forward to working with citizens with a Learning Disability and their families in helping to deliver this vision and to improve services during this journey.

  • Councillor Thomas Robinson, Executive Member for Healthy Manchester and Adult Social Care
  • Bernadette Enright, Executive Director Adult Social Services, Manchester Local Care Organisation
  • Katy Calvin-Thomas, Chief Executive, Manchester Local Care Organisation

Manchester People First

Manchester City Council have worked with Manchester People First, a self-advocacy group for adults with a learning disability, to see that this plan includes the views of learning-disabled people.

Manchester People First looks forward to working with our partners to improve services by letting them know what our members want and need to lead full lives.


Our Vision

Adults with a learning disability in Manchester will be supported to grow and develop as individuals. They will be able to make their own choices and have the opportunity to lead full lives and enjoy the best health and wellbeing possible.

Who we are

We are the Manchester Local Care Organisation. This is NHS hospitals and community services and adult social care services working together to help people within their Manchester City Council neighbourhood to enjoy better health and live longer.

This plan has also been developed in partnership with Greater Manchester Integrated Care. This is a fairly new organisation, which takes over what was known as ‘Clinical Commissioning Groups’. Its job is to make sure people get good health care.

It will work with Manchester Local Care Organisation to deliver this plan which runs from 2023 to 2028.

Who this plan is for?

  • Adults with a learning disability
  • Younger people transitioning to become adults
  • Carers who may also be friends or family

And to guide professionals, providers and other key people in how to give good quality services.

Core Principles

These are the things that are at the heart of what we do:


  • Safe – Staff help me to feel safe.


  • Caring – Staff treat me with I know my care and support is well planned. The views of friends, family and important people in my life are listened to.


  • About the outcome – I have an interesting life that I enjoy. I am helped to achieve my personal goals and plans.


  • About me – I like to do what I want. The way I like to do things is respected.


  • Choice – I have choice and control about my care and I have a choice about where I live and who I live with.


  • Health – I get good care from health services. If I have to go into a hospital because my health needs cannot be met in the community, it is high quality, and I do not stay there longer than I need to.


  • Part of my community – I get the support I need to feel I am part of my local community. I am helped to meet new people if I want to.


  • Accessible – I get help from services when I need them.


  • Family and friends – Those who care for me and support me are recognised and respected. They have access to advice and support, and they take part in discussions about my care and support plans.

Our Aims

  • Deal with the issues facing younger adults with a learning disability who are going through transition to being an adult.
  • Know what people with a learning disability will need now and in the future.
  • Help us plan for when people with a learning disability get older.
  • Help us plan to meet the needs of families and carers.
  • To make sure we have good quality health and social care services.

The main things we want to do

Support people with a learning disability to:

  • Have better access to good quality community services and accommodation.
  • Be more independent and have the chance to get better skills and experience.
  • Get good quality healthcare.
  • Play a greater part in how we work. We will consult, engage and co-produce when we need to.
  • Provide support to carers when they need it.


Why we came up with this plan

When this plan was written:

  • There was no existing learning disability plan for Manchester.
  • The plan for Greater Manchester had run out.

Our engagement in 2022 and 2023 told us that nearly 7 out of 10 people are happy with the services that they get.

But we also know that some people would like services to get better.

If we are going to carry on and get better, the way some services are delivered will have to change.

Developing the Plan

We are looking at what people have told is working, what is not working, and what we need to change to make it work better.

How we came up With the Plan

We talked to people who use services, staff who give services and other organisations that play a part.

We listened to what people told us was good about services, what could be better and what support they said they needed.

We looked at funding, what services were available, and national and local policies.

The plan takes into account the 3 things that were seen as the main things agreed for Greater Manchester. These are:

  • Good Health
  • Belonging
  • Housing

Learning disabled people in Manchester

There are over 1 million people aged over 18 in England who have a learning disability.

Over 10 thousand in Manchester.

Over 1 thousand get services under the Care Act 2014.

8 out of 10 live in their own home or with their family.

6 out of 10 live somewhere that meets their needs.

8 out of 10 rate their quality of life as good or very good.

6 out of 10 spend their time doing things they value or enjoy.

9 out of 10 said care and support services help them feel safe.

6 out of 10 found it easy to find information about support services and benefits.

People’s Stories

When we were writing this plan we met some of the people it would affect. They told us some of the things that are important to them.

From the Manchester Shared Lives Service Citizen Working Group

This is citizen-led and meets 4 times a year. They decide what they are going to do such as learning new skills and having guest speakers. Here is what some of the group told us…

Malcolm & Ronnie

Malcolm is 70 years old and Ronnie is 75. They meet their friends at AJ’s Academy.

They enjoy going to the pub and singing karaoke.

They love holidays and have been to Cuba and Cape Verde and are planning to go to Mexico.


Shaun is 54 and lives with his carers.

He stays with his family at weekends.

He supports Manchester United.

He is looking forward to going to New York with his family.


Barry is 42 and lives with his carer.

He likes being independent and travelling on buses and trains.

Barry enjoys spending time with friends and karaoke.

In the future, he would like a girlfriend.


Sam is 29 years old and lives with his carer. He likes breakdancing.

Sam goes to a drama group at the Edge Theatre. He is also training in the café at the theatre 2 days a week.

Sam volunteers to lead a walking group every week. He plans the walk and organises the group. This has helped him feel more confident and happier.

In the future, Sam wants to live in his own place and have his own family.

From Better Things

Better Things are a small, independent charity that works to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities and/or autism in the Greater Manchester area.


Mariam is 32 years old. She goes to the Better Things Women’s Group at the Lifestyle Centre in Wythenshawe.

The group meets every week. They listen to each other and give advice if they can. They are raising awareness of hate crime and bullying.

Mariam visits other women’s community groups. She thinks it is good to be part of a community.

She works 2 days a week at the airport. She says it has helped her become more confident.

She has made friends and developed skills.

Mariam says she feels proud that she has achieved something.

National and Local Policy

This plan tells you what we want to do in Manchester, but it fits in with what is being done in Greater Manchester and England with plans and laws such as:

The Care Act 2014

  • This gives people more independence and helps their wellbeing.
  • Means councils must have services that do things to stop people ending up needing care.
  • Sees that being someone’s carer can be hard and have an effect on the carer’s health.
  • Carers should be checked and given support.

NHS Long Term Plan 

  • Extra money for the NHS will be spent to help people.
  • More people with a learning disability will get an Annual Health Check from their doctor to keep them well.
  • More people with a learning disability have a job if they want.

NHS Transforming Care Agenda Building the Right Support

  • Is about getting more community based services for people with a learning disability.
  • People should be valued and lead full They should be treated with respect. They should have a home in their community, be able to keep relationships and be supported to live healthy and safe lives.
  • Helping more people leave hospital and preventing them from needing hospital in the first place (for mental health issues).

MLCO Better Outcomes, Better Lives Plan

  • Is about staff following strength-based ways of looking at and supporting