Getting It Right - From The Start was a volunteer-led healthcare project which ran from 2011 to 2014. It was funded by Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund.
The aim was to make reasonable adjustments to primary care services for people with a learning disability.
We worked with volunteers with a learning disability who delivered workshops to GP surgery staff, including doctors. The volunteers were supported by mentors to run the workshops at doctor’s surgeries. This was the most important part of the project.
The workshops were about learning disability awareness, reasonable adjustments, communication and easy read information.
The project worked in partnership with four clinical commissioning groups: East Surrey, Mid Devon and Exeter, Northamptonshire and North Tyneside, supported by a locality co-ordinator and a lead GP.
What did the project involve?
- Recruiting Volunteer Champions, who have a learning disability, and Volunteer Mentors to provide support to the Champions
- Inviting 20 GP surgeries in each of the pilot localities to engage with the volunteers
- The volunteers provided an Action Plan to the GP surgeries about what ‘reasonable adjustments’ can be made and how they can be made
- The volunteers delivered learning disability awareness workshops to staff at GP surgeries in each locality
- The GP surgeries were given advice on creating easy read documents to help people with a learning disability understand their health
- Volunteers re-visited GP practices six months later to review their progress and the impact of the workshop
- A summary of the evaluation of the project is now available online - or you can contact us for the full report.
About the workshops
93% of practice staff said they would recommend our workshops.
We worked with 62 Volunteer Champions and Mentors across the four localities, who delivered workshops in 72 GP surgeries. The volunteers talked about what learning disability is and what it means to the people in their lives.
The workshops were attended by surgery staff including GPs, nurses, practice managers, secretaries and receptionists.
Staff were given advice about communicating well with patients and how they can make information easy for people to read, so that people with a learning disability can understand more about their health.
Outcomes of the project
We have produced an online toolkit of resources for GPs about learning disability
GP Quality Standards
The toolkit includes specific actions and standards that you can use to measure the impact of the services you provide.
We have produced a final project evaluation. You can read a summary online or contact us for the full report. We also produced a formative and summative evaluation that tells us how things were going half-way through the project. Read a summary of the evaluation.
Dissemination and learning
Throughout the project, we produced newsletters, videos and case studies to help raise awareness of the project and our findings.
- Discover our free online GP Toolkit to find resources produced during this project
- Read our factsheet about the project
- Read a summary of the final project evaluation
- Read case studies of Volunteer Mentors and Champions
- Read testimonials from volunteers and GPs
- Read our latest newsletter (previous newsletters can be requested from the team)
- Download the easy-read project summary
- Watch a video introducing the project
- Watch a video of some of the Volunteer Mentors and Champions talking about their experiences
For more information about the project, please contact:
Health project manager