A new project is ensuring that people with learning disabilities in Calderdale and Huddersfield get the best possible treatment and care when they go into hospital.

The project, which is being led by the South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust in collaboration with Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust, is an audit of the White Paper, Valuing People. The work will focus on chapter six, which examines the issues around the health of people with learning disabilities.

Heather Pearson, project worker, is carrying out the work. Heather will be talking to patients and carers while they are in Calderdale Royal Hospital and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary to find out what issues affect people with learning disabilities. She will also work with staff to identify ways in which services can be improved to benefit both patients and professionals.

Speaking about the work, Heather said, ‘Going into hospital can be a confusing and frightening time for people with learning disabilities. This project is about finding out about their experiences, and looking into ways in which they can be improved. I’m also going to be working with nursing staff to find out more about their training needs. I’m hoping to get a lot of valuable information using questionnaires that I have devised especially for each group.’

‘The results of the questionnaires will be used to pick out key issues, which will then be researched further through focus groups and one-to-one interviews with staff, patients and carers. The results will also highlight training needs, areas where procedures need to be changed as well as areas of good practice.

‘This is an important project and will lead to real improvements in the treatment and care of people with learning disabilities whilst they are in a hospital setting. I’d like to thank patients, carers and members of staff for all the support I have received so far.’


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