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Hft wins innovation award to improve wellbeing of people with learning disabilities
Hft wins innovation award to improve wellbeing of people with learning disabilities

Hft Press Releases

Hft wins innovation award to improve wellbeing of people with learning disabilities

Published: 04/11/15

A team from Hft – a national charity supporting people with learning disabilities – has been selected by the Health Foundation, an independent health care charity, to be part of its £1.5 million innovation programme, Innovating for Improvement.

The second round of the Innovating for Improvement programme is supporting twenty-one health care projects in the UK with the aim of improving health care delivery and/or the way people manage their own health care by testing and developing innovative ideas and approaches and putting them into practice.

The initiative from Hft will take Lincus – an existing application that tracks health and wellbeing and allow people to better communicate how they are feeling – and integrate it with the Health Equalities Framework (HEF) – an outcomes-based framework which identifies the impact of services in reducing exposure to known determinants of health inequalities. This development will allow Hft to better monitor the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities supported by the charity, with the ultimate aim of improving long term health and wellbeing outcomes for this group.

Integrating Lincus and the HEF will allow for much easier collation and analysis of health and wellbeing information; and improve the quality and timeliness of interventions, solutions and actions

The project will be undertaken in Hft services in Bradford and Gloucestershire and builds on the findings from Death by Indifference and the Confidential Inquiry into Premature Deaths of People with Learning Disabilities.

Over the course of the programme the team will develop its innovative idea and approach, put it into practice and gather evidence about how the innovation improves the quality of health care and wellbeing insights.

The team will be led by Hft’s Personalised Technology team, working closely with the creators of Lincus, technology SME Rescon, and the creators of the HEF.

Sarah Weston, Innovation Manager for Hft said: “We are really delighted to be working with the Health Foundation on this exciting and innovative project – particularly as Hft is the only third sector organisation to be awarded a grant in this round. By being better able to monitor the health and wellbeing of the people Hft supports, we will be able to offer better and more targeted support – ultimately improving outcomes for the people we support. In addition, these insights can be shared with a variety of stakeholders, allowing them to play their part in improving the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities.”

Gill Clayton, Programme Manager from the Health Foundation said, “We are very excited to be working with such a high-calibre of teams, who all have great innovative ideas. As an organisation we are keen to support innovation at the frontline, therefore I am pleased that we will be able to support these ambitious teams to develop and test their ideas over the next year.

“Our aim is to promote the effectiveness and real impact of the teams’ innovations and show how they have succeeded in improving the quality of health care, with the intention of these being widely adopted across the UK health service.”

The programme will run for fifteen months and each project will receive up to £75,000 of funding to support the implementation and evaluation of the project.

Notes to editors 

About Hft

Hft is a national charity supporting people with learning disabilities and their families.  Everything we do focuses on helping the people we support live the life they choose. We are committed to supporting people with learning disabilities to live the life they choose.

Around 1.1 million adults have a learning disability in England. A learning disability can be mild, moderate, severe or profound and is defined as having a reduced ability to: 

  • Understand new or complex information
  • Learn new skills
  • Live independently 

We support people by:

  • Working in partnership with them and those that know them well to create flexible services that meet their needs, whether they need a lot of support, or just occasionally.
  • Where possible, involving them in deciding who supports them so they have the opportunity to do things they like, whether that’s meeting new friends, developing hobbies, working or volunteering.
  • Involving them in deciding how we run Hft, both locally and nationally.
  • Supporting them to have the home life they want, whether that’s in a residential home, at home with their family, or in their own home.
  • Helping them be independent by looking at their needs and using the right technology to meet those needs, as well as to develop the skills and confidence to do things themselves where they can.
  • Providing free support and information to families and carers of all people with learning disabilities whether or not they’re supported by Hft through our dedicated family support line on 0808 801 0448.

Hft also works closely with local authorities and other agencies to find the best solutions to meet a person’s needs.

For further information please contact: Susanna White, PR & Media Manager, on 0117 906 1755 or

For media enquiries, outside of office hours please call 0117 906 1697

For more information on Hft please visit

Subject: Awards
Location: National