Last week, hundreds of organisations in the educational, non-profit and health sector across the country showed their support for Learning Disability week 2018 from 18 – 24 June.
The week was led by Mencap; a national organisation and the leading voice of learning disability.
This year the focus for Learning Disability week 2018 is about health with a primary focus on Mencap’s Treat Me Well campaign. By making changes in the way healthcare is delivered and communicated, significant improvements in the way care is delivered to patients with learning disabilities and lead to life-saving care and treatment.
The campaign involved calling upon NHS staff to listen to people with learning disabilities about how they can improve the quality of healthcare they receive. In a powerful video produced by Mencap, it was uncovered that 1200 people with learning disabilities die avoidably each year – much to the surprise of the hospital workers they were interviewing in the video. 1200 people a year equates to 21 people a week and 3 people a day; these numbers should make us feel uncomfortable.
Two thirds of health care professionals want more training on learning disability – this can help improve outcomes in patients and ultimately lead to a better and more effective healthcare service to patients with learning disabilities.
Foxes Academy, a Natspec college that participated in the awareness week ran several initiatives and workshops on health and wellness for students to learn and express their thoughts about important issues like relationships, sex and health to name a few.
Here at Natspec, we’re pleased that the conversation around improving health outcomes in people with learning disabilities is becoming a significant topic within mainstream media. This leads to meaningful changes in the lives of people, especially young people with learning disabilities who communicate differently than many health care professionals are used to.
To finish off, we’d like to share Angela’s story – a mum, whose son was unable to express his discomfort, pain and anxiousness the way other children do and the impact this had on his health.
If you want to follow the campaign in more detail, visit the Mencap website here.