A unique health conference for people with learning disabilities, family carers and support workers was held today for those living in the Wakefield district. The event, held to mark Mencap’s learning disability week (22nd – 28th June) was held at the Alice Bacon Centre in Normanton. It was an opportunity for people to learn about new initiatives as well as the support and services available in the local area.
The health conference was hosted by the learning disability partnership board alongside South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust, NHS Wakefield and Wakefield Family Services.
The event saw the official launch of the Wakefield District Health Action Plan and the Vulnerable Inpatient Card. Both initiatives aim to improve access to mainstream health care for people with learning disabilities and ultimately improve their day to day experiences. The conference gave local people with learning disabilities, their carers and support workers the chance to learn more about these initiatives and how they can benefit from them.
A Health Action Plan enables a person to have more control over big issues regarding their health and life style choices. The Vulnerable Inpatient Card is a unique initiative designed to ensure that people with learning disabilities get appropriate care in an emergency. Cards are issued to people individually and easily fit into a wallet, purse or hand bag and provide essential information about a person should they need to urgently go into hospital – for example, their communication needs, medication details, allergies, expression of pain and important contacts.
The conference also promoted annual health checks for people with learning disabilities, and showcased a range of health promotion activities on offer for local people with learning disabilities to take advantage of.
Marie Gibb, health project lead for learning disabilities Wakefield, organised the event and said, "Today’s event was a huge success and a great opportunity to share important information with local people with learning disabilities, their carers and support workers. Learning Disability Week is all about raising awareness of the needs of people with learning disabilities and this event has not only acknowledged those needs, but also provided new ways of meeting them. People who attended today’s event went away a lot more knowledgeable about the services and support available to them as well as how to access them, but were also happy to have had a fun and sociable day."