Confidential Inquiry

We know that people with learning disabilities have poorer health and die younger than other people. We want to find out if there is anything we can change to improve the health of people with learning disabilities and help them to live longer. Find out why a Confidential Inquiry is necessary.

The aim of the Confidential Inquiry is to improve the standard and quality of care for people with learning disabilities and ultimately their health outcomes.

The Confidential Inquiry team examines the care of learning-disability-criteria.pdf (PDF, 42kB) who have died. The Inquiry has permission from the NIGB to search GP records of people who have died. They do this by collecting information from case notes, records and from discussions with those involved in the person’s care or health. As part of this, the team’s nurses talk with family members, friends or other people who knew the person well.

The information is brought together at a Local Review Panel meeting. The meeting decides whether there the person’s death could be considered premature and if there were any factors involved in the person’s death that could have been avoided.

The anonymised conclusions from each Local Review Panel meeting are taken to an Overview Panel meeting. Here, the findings from several cases are discussed. All the cases discussed at the Overview Panel meeting will have had any personal identifying details removed. The Overview Panel identifies patterns in the care and support of people who have died, highlighting examples of good, as well as poor care from which lessons can be learnt.

There is a step-by-step guide (PDF, 58kB) (PDF, 59.0 kB) to the Confidential Inquiry process.

The CI has NHS Research Ethics (PDF, 480kB) (NRES) and National Information Governance Board (PDF, 350kB) (NIGB) approvals.