Simple changes in hospital care can make a big difference – better communication, more time and clearer information.

But we know the treatment people with a learning disability get in hospital is still not good enough in many parts of the country. This has to change.

1,200 people with a learning disability die avoidably every year.

Our campaign, Treat Me Well, calls on NHS staff to make reasonable adjustments for people with a learning disability which can help to save lives.

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Have you been watching Casualty?

If so, you may have seen a character with a learning disability called Howie who was turned away from hospital after having stomach pains.

The three-episode storyline is based on the real-life case of a young boy with a learning disability, called Alex Haslam, whose family we supported. Mencap, along with Alex’s mum, Angela, and some of our Treat me well campaigners worked closely with the BBC team in researching and writing the storyline.

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We know that people with a learning disability face huge inequalities when it comes to getting the healthcare they need and deserve.

While healthcare professionals are working hard under extreme pressure during the coronavirus outbreak, it is more important than ever that the specific needs of people with a learning disability are acknowledged and reasonable adjustments are made in hospitals, especially if it is an emergency.

People with a learning disability have a right to be treated equally and access healthcare just like anyone else. Now, more than ever, people with a learning disability need to know that they can get the support they need in hospital.

Want to find out more about reasonable adjustments and your child’s rights in hospital? Download our new resources for parents.

Download resource Watch Casualty
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Alex and Angela's story

Alex could have died at any point, he'd had appendicitis on and off for 16 months. If the worst had happened to Alex, I wonder if anybody would have learnt any lessons from it?

What summed it all up for me was that on one occasion when Alex was in hospital, there was a child with appendicitis in the next bed. The staff were running around giving him painkillers, and anything he needed, but ignoring Alex. Just because he wasn't able to demonstrate his pain in an obvious way.

Read the full story
 

Looking for help around coronavirus?

If you or someone you know is struggling to get the medical attention they need, please contact  our helpline.

If you are looking for information then visit our coronavirus webpages which include easy read information and resources.

Find out more

Find or start a Treat Me Well group

Look at our map to find out if there's a Treat Me Well group near you.

Email campaigns@mencap.org.uk if you would like to be put in touch with one of these groups.

 

Start your own group

Want to set up your own group? Enter your details here to receive an easy read guide to setting up your own campaign group.

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Do you work in a hospital?

If you work in a hospital you can get involved and support our campaign by signing up to become a Treat Me Well Champion.

We'll then send you the latest helpful tips and resources, straight from the heart of our campaign to help improve the care people with a learning disability receive in hospital.

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Find out more about Treat me well

Over the course the campaign we've been doing lots of work, including creating resources to support the campaign and its goal to transform how the NHS treats people with a learning disability in hospital which you can find listed below.

Treat Me Well has also been shaped by the stories we've heard from people with a learning disability and their families. Some of these are also listed below.

 

 

We want you to hear from some of the people we've spoken to, and what their experiences of the NHS have been.

If you have a story of your own hospital experience to share, please do let us know by emailing reallifestories@mencap.org.uk.

You can also get involved on Facebook and Twitter, using #TreatMeWell

Support Treat Me Well

You can support Treat Me Well by signing up to receive information, resources and stories.

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