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Health Matters - Learning Disability Week

Health Matters - Learning Disability Week
20 June 2018

Lynsey Ure, quality lead for transforming care for learning disability at NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group

Treat Me Well is a campaign led by Mencap to improve how the NHS treats people with a learning disability when they attend a hospital visit.  And it was a big focus for local NHS staff during Learning Disability Week, which ran from 18 to 24 June.

Treat Me Well demonstrates how simple changes in hospital care such as better communication, more time and clearer information can make a big difference. We know that people with learning disabilities still do not receive good enough treatment in many parts of the country, and the campaign is there to help us to improve this care locally and nationally.

During Learning Disability Week, we worked together with East Cheshire NHS Trust, which runs Macclesfield, Congleton and Knutsford Hospitals; and Cheshire East Council to spread the good news about what works well for people attending hospital. We also looked at what could be put in place to ensure everyone receives the best quality healthcare.

SIX OF THE BEST: Greeting visitors to the hospital stall, left to right, are CCG staff Penny Hughes, designated clinical officer for special educational needs and disability; Melanie Forster, quality and commissioning officer; Lynsey Ure, quality lead for transforming care for learning disability; Fleur Blakeman, strategy and transformation director; Sally Rogers, director of quality; and Katie Mills, senior clinical quality mansger

We had a stall in Macclesfield Hospital as a focal point for conversations with staff and the public, giving everyone the opportunity to celebrate and share good practice.

We involved NHS staff in Treat Me Well to give them the chance to access up-to-date information about how to provide reasonable adjustments so that people with learning disabilities can use services and feel comfortable with situations which may otherwise be confusing or distressing to them.

The stall included a wide variety of Mencap information plus posters created by NHS staff with people with learning disabilities who attend Macclesfield’s Speaking Up Speaking Out (SUSO), a self-advocacy group that offers a wide range of activities including social events, fundraising, participation in community events and visits to conferences.

The posters displayed poems, stories and quotes to allow NHS staff to hear from local people with learning disabilities. 

The local NHS has now made a commitment to encourage staff to become learning disability champions and to sign up to receive electronic information supporting Treat Me Well. Pledges were also made to share any information received and promote reasonable adjustments within hospital wards and departments.

Click here for more information about Treat Me Well. Click here to learn more about the great work that SUSO does.