Improving care for people with learning disabilities

Wednesday, 19 April, 2017




“Labels go on jars and luggage”.

People with learning disabilities have been talking about the challenges they face when receiving emergency treatment.

Members of Opening Doors met with student paramedics and associate ambulance practitioners from the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) to talk to them about their experiences of the health service and offered advice about how they like to be treated.

Four experts by experience visited the Trust’s training base in Norwich on 13th April, and also taught staff how to sign ‘hello my name is’ as part of the get the nation signing campaign. The group were also given a tour of the emergency operations centre and were shown around an ambulance as part of the visit organised by the Trust’s Patient and Public Involvement team.

Ian Hubbard, advocacy advisor for Opening Doors, said the group were talking to as many health professionals as possible including pharmacists, hospital nurses, midwives and people who work in social care.

“It is about speaking up and having the confidence to stand up in front of people. It is about gaining that confidence when an ambulance comes along and from the other side people remember the training and put it into place,” he said.

Chris Corbett, one of EEAST’s education and training officers, said: “It was great to welcome Opening Doors who gave a really informative talk. It was really helpful to see their point of view and what we can do to improve the care they receive from us.”


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