The NHS has been criticised for using outdated and offensive terminology in its official statistics when describing people with intellectual disabilities.
NHS Digital publishes annual statistics that record all admissions, appointments and attendances for all patients at NHS hospitals across England and is broken down by specific diagnostic categories.
Among these categories, the term “mental retardation” is used to refer to patients with learning or intellectual disabilities. It is a term widely considered to be offensive, and even in NHS guidance is described as outdated. The guidance says it should now be replaced with terms such as intellectual disability.