Hull clinical commissioning group (CCG) is set to appoint the UK’s first-ever doctor specialising in treating patients with profound and multiple learning disabilities. It will run as a two-year trial.

Commenting on the decision, United Response chief executive Tim Cooper said:

“We offer a cautious welcome to Hull CCG’s trial of a specialist learning disability GP and await to see if it can help reduce clear health inequalities between people with learning disabilities and non-disabled people.

“The LeDeR programme has set us on a new path for supporting the health needs of people with learning disabilities, and if implemented correctly Hull’s two-year trial could be yet another positive step to bringing about real change.

“Having a single point of leadership in Hull with the sufficient seniority, knowledge and resource may make a real difference to the treatment received by patients with learning disabilities in the region – but this must be just the beginning.

“It is absolutely critical that any learning from the initiative is used to widen the knowledge, skills and experience of mainstream GPs across the country in supporting people with learning disabilities rather than in going back to creating specialist services.”