I’ve been a volunteer for Mencap for 24 years and I’m also the Mencap spokesperson on health.
I’m very passionate about better healthcare for people with a learning disability. I think people with a learning disability have a right to equal treatment to healthcare. I think that hospitals should make documents in Easy Read and have Easy Read signs in their buildings.
I sit on a Learning Disability Working Group at a London hospital. The group is run by a learning disability nurse. I help the group understand the needs of patients with a learning disability. I also recently gave a presentation to some student learning disability nurses who are at university. Learning disability nurses are great and I think all hospitals should have one!
Good healthcare is so important to people like me. When I think about how many people with a learning disability die young because of poor treatment, it makes me want to break down in tears.
Treat me well
Treat me well is Mencap’s new campaign. We want the NHS to know how to treat people with a learning disability better. I think everyone should learn about the campaign.
We want everyone who treats a patient to learn about reasonable adjustments. A reasonable adjustment is when a person goes into hospital and asks for extra support like a double appointment or information in Easy Read, so they can have an equal service to everyone else. Reasonable adjustments are powerful and really help us when they are put in place. All healthcare professionals should offer reasonable adjustments as well.
My message for people with a learning disability reading my blog is this: keep as healthy as you can and do exercises. Learn about your rights and get involved with our Treat me well campaign.
And my message for healthcare professionals is to please treat patients with a learning disability well, give us respect, and think about what reasonable adjustments you can give to help us.