Valuable insight into living with learning disabilities

New staff gained a valuable insight into the challenges people with learning disabilities can face when they receive emergency care.

Members of Opening Doors, a user led organisation run by people with learning difficulties for people with learning difficulties, gave a presentation to student paramedics and associate ambulance practitioners last Thursday (13th April).

Four people from the Opening Doors team visited the training base at Hellesdon to talk about their experiences of the health service, and offer advice.

They also taught staff how to sign ‘hello my name is’ as part of the ‘Get the nation signing’ campaign, and were also given a tour of Norwich EOC and the back of an ambulance.

Ian Hubbard, advocacy advisor for Opening Doors, said the group were talking to as many health professionals as possible including pharmacists, hospital nurses, midwives and people who work in social care: “It is about speaking up and having the confidence to stand up in front of people. It is about gaining that confidence when an ambulance comes along and from the other side people remember the training and put it into place.”

Their advice to staff includes:

  • Speak calmly and in plain simple English
  • “Don’t talk to me like a child”
  • “Explain what you are doing to me and how you will move me”
  • “Talk to me at my level and don’t stand over me”
  • Look out for emergency pendants, health books, hospital passports, communication passports, and emergency plan admissions.

Published 21st April, 2017

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