Ipswich Hospital launches new action group to improve care for patients with learning disabilities

Roger Blake, Ipswich Hospital's learning disability, autism and safeguarding liaison nurse. Picture:

Roger Blake, Ipswich Hospital's learning disability, autism and safeguarding liaison nurse. Picture: IPSWICH HOSPITAL - Credit: Archant

The Learning Disability Action Group was launched in August for patients to share their experiences and suggestions for improvement

Ipswich Hospital has started a new forum for patients with learning disabilities in a bid to embed a “person-centred” approach to care.

The Learning Disability Action Group (LDAG) was launched in August with the aim of gaining patients’ feedback and suggestions for improvement.

At the first meeting, participants discussed the possible content for an easy read leaflet about learning disabilities to be used in the hospital.

Roger Blake, learning disability, autism and safeguarding liaison nurse, said: “We really like to hear patient experience and feedback, it is the crux of everything we do and this collaborative approach is vital.

“People with learning disabilities or autism in Suffolk are fantastic advocates for themselves and there is a real culture of empowerment for people with learning disabilities or autism in the county.

“My goal is to carry this sense of empowerment into the hospital and to become a place where people with a learning disability or autism and their families know they will get a quality, person-centred service.

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“As a group we agreed the meetings to be productive and structured with a proper agenda and we let the people that come to the meetings decide the agenda for the next meeting, feeding back to the patient experience team in the hospital.”

In the future, a chairperson will be appointed and the group will discuss and consult on all aspects of the experience of using The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust with a learning disability, including subjects such as cannulation, ambulance journeys and operations.

“The long term goal is to have a real and long lasting impact on the way the hospital works with and cares for people with a learning disability or autism and become a service that is completely person-centred for people with learning disabilities or autism,” Mr Blake added.

The next meeting is scheduled to be held on Monday, October 23, in classroom 12 of the education centre at the hospital, and is open to any hospital user with learning disabilities.

A separate group for parents and carers of people with learning disabilities will be launched soon.

Contact Mr Blake on 01473 702517 or email roger.blake@ipswichhospital.nhs.uk for more details.

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