Frail+LD is a tool to identify frailty risks sooner for people with learning disabilities, as signs of aging often appear earlier in people with learning disabilities without being detected. Eastern AHSN is evaluating the tool.

Helping identify frailty risks earlier in people with learning difficulties

Frail+LD is a clinical support tool based on the Rockwood Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) for health care professionals to support the identification of frailty risks sooner in people with learning disabilities through clinical assessment. The outcome for Frail+LD is to manage and help people with a learning disability to live well for longer and reduce deaths from frailty-related conditions.

Signs of ageing often appear earlier in people with learning disabilities including autism1, 2. This is due to a variety of reasons including chromosomal differences, side effects from polypharmacy over significant periods and prevalence of other long term health conditions3. The NHS Long Term Plan made a commitment to continue the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) and to improve the health and wellbeing of people with a learning disability.

Locally, Eastern AHSN are supporting a pilot with Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust with support from the University of Hertfordshire to validate Frail+LD, which has been developed locally in line with LeDeR and NICE recommendations for an individualised assessment of frailty and consideration of comorbidities and underlying health conditions in people with learning disabilities.

Eastern AHSN is supporting the Frail+LD project by providing funding for the validation and have brokered the pilot, which went live in March and is due to run until December 2022.

Get in touch

If you are interested in learning about the benefits of rolling this programme out in your region please contact Nick Pringle: [email protected].


  1. NHS RightCare. (2019). NHS RightCare: Frailty Toolkit. Available: Last accessed 19/04/22.
  2. NHS RightCare. (2019). Providing the best care for people living with frailty. Available: Last accessed 19/04/22.
  3. Ouellette-Kuntz, H,. Martin, L., McKenzie, K. (2018). Rate of deficit accumulation in home care users with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Annals of Epidemiology. 28 (4), 220-224.

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