Posted Friday, August 17, 2018 2:20 PM
A new independent report, commissioned by NHS England, has praised the way in which Sherwood Forest Hospitals cares for and supports people with learning disabilities and/ or autism when they go into hospital, including by making sure that environments are accessible, staff are appropriately trained, and that awareness of the needs of people with learning disabilities and/ or autism is embedded in the organisation and the way healthcare professionals work.
The report was compiled by Changing Our Lives, an organisation which has a long history of working in coproduction with disabled people to check patient experience in a range of NHS settings including GP practices, general hospitals, mental health hospitals, dentists and pharmacies.
The Changing our Lives team spent two full days at the hospital observing the environment and the way staff work, talking to staff in different departments, talking to people with learning disabilities and family carers who have been in the hospital and reading information produced by the Trust. Their findings were written into a report and highlighted a number of areas of good practice including:
However, the report highlighted some areas in which the hospital could consider doing more including further improving staff awareness of the Mental Capacity Act; reintroducing a Learning Disability Steering Group, and additional support and training for Learning Disability Champions.
Suzanne Banks, Chief Nurse at Sherwood Forest Hospitals said: “Treating patients with compassion and respect is vitally important to us as Trust, and we are proud of the steps we have taken in the last few years to improve the care and experience of our hospital for people with learning disabilities and/or autism.
“We were delighted to have the opportunity to demonstrate this to Changing our Lives, and are pleased that the report recognises much of the good work that we have done.
“We’re also grateful for the practical suggestions of ways in which we can continue to improve – and will be taking these suggestions forward in the coming months.”
Jayne Leeson, CEO of Changing our Lives said:
“It is sadly still the case that people with a learning disability have poorer physical health than the general population, often through avoidable causes including not getting adequate healthcare. So it is really encouraging to find so many positive examples of reasonable adjustments and good practice at Sherwood Forest Hospitals; staff managers are clearly working hard to ensure that people with learning disabilities receive equal access to good healthcare, just like everyone else.
“Their plans for the future and commitments to continually improve the way they do things should result in better health outcomes for people with a learning disability living in the local area.”
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