Mencap Cymru will be delivering a series of learning disability awareness sessions to healthcare staff in Welsh hospitals between 2012 and 2013.
The sessions will help improve awareness and understanding among hospital staff so that they can provide better care to people with a learning disability.
The training has been commissioned by the Welsh Government and follows a report by the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales in September 2011 in to the death of Paul Ridd. Paul had a learning disability and contracted pneumonia whilst at hospital.
It was concluded that had staff paid more attention to Paul’s learning disability, and heeded the advice of his family and support staff, he would have had a better chance of recovering.
The standard of care Paul received was well below what we should expect on a hospital ward in the 21st century. Matters were made worse because no-one was willing to take the extra steps needed taking into account his learning disability. Our family want to make sure that the mistakes made during his time in hospital aren’t repeated, and that people with learning disability should feel confident getting treatment anywhere.
Jayne Nicholls, Paul’s sister
The training will be delivered by Mencap Cymru’s external affairs officers Dawn Gullis and Georgia Burdett, who will use the principles of the Getting it right charter as a starting point. Dawn has a learning disability, and in 2006 was part of Mencap Cymru’s successful campaign to introduce free annual health checks in Wales.
People with a learning disability sometimes don’t like going to the doctors or to the hospital, and it’s because we aren’t always taken seriously, or because staff don’t want to take time to communicate with us properly. The training we provide will show what can happen when our needs aren’t met, but show the small things staff can do to care for people with a learning disability properly.
Dawn Gullis, Mencap Cymru’s external affairs officer
Mencap has worked with the General Medical Council to compile an online training tool for healthcare staff.