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Caring for people with learning disabilities

3rd March 2009

Community learning disability nurse for the Ridgeway Partnership trust and a Health Foundation leadership fellow, Jason Warner discusses an initiative he is working on to improve services for those with learning disabilities.

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Evidence already shows that many people who have a learning disability are susceptible to poorer health than many other people in the country.

Poor experience of primary care can compound this, often as a result of their needs not being understood.

But I am now developing a strategy to combat this.

With the support of the Health Foundation, the strategy is designed to encourage community learning disability nurses to work more closely with GP surgeries in Oxfordshire to increase the effectiveness of services.

An initial part of this is to help staff in surgeries have a better understanding of people with such a learning disability via existing strategies to provide regular health checks and health action plans for people.

With a member of a local self advocacy organisation, we have already made a short film about his work in supporting the NHS to meet needs more effectively.

The film has been presented to the Health Foundation and the hope is to further expand the work.

The goal is to demonstrate that the quality of healthcare has changed and improved for people with learning disabilities, that they receive regular check ups and a health plan.

This is a unique opportunity but one I hope will improve healthcare for people with learning disabilities, not only in my area but beyond that.

 

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