Jun 22

Simple adjustments can save lives

Improved healthcare could save the lives of three people with learning disabilities every day.

That is why I am backing learning disability charity Mencap’s Treat Me Well campaign.

The charity says that three people with a learning disability die avoidably every day but simple changes to healthcare could make a life-saving difference.

Simple things such as having a quiet space to wait for an appointment, jargon free easy to understand information and longer appointment times to allow people with a learning disability to express themselves may seem like small adjustments. However, they could mean the difference between a person getting the healthcare they need or missing out.

Around 1.4 million people in the UK have a learning disability. Listening to people’s experiences in Parliament this week placed a human face on the shocking statistics around life expectancy for people with learning disabilities.

Visiting a nurse or doctor can be an anxious experience and we need to make sure that everyone is able to understand what the healthcare professional is asking and explaining. We also need to make sure that doctors and nurses have the support and training they need to communicate well with people with learning disabilities.

This week’s Learning Disability Week 2018 is a great way for people with a learning disability and NHS staff to celebrate and share good practice, and to work together to improve care through making simple, reasonable adjustments. You can find out more by clicking here.