Staff across the Trust, partner organisations, service users and carers have joined forces to form the Hidden Impairment Project (HIP). The project aims to raise awareness of the link between hidden impairments and mental health at the same time as promoting person centred care to help somebody with a hidden impairment.
Hidden impairments (HI) cover the specific learning disabilities of Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, ADHD, Autistic Spectrum Conditions, Tourettes Syndrome, Dyscalculia, and Dysgraphia. Some of the common difficulties people with hidden impairments face include low self confidence, limited social skills, difficulty finding suitable employment, at the same time as experiencing lack of access to diagnostic pathways and support.
The group which is co-lead by Alex Feather (Equality & Inclusion team), Dr Marios Adamou (ADHD team lead) and Joanne Ellis (OT, Kirklees Vocational team), is looking at how the Trust can improve the experience for service users with hidden impairments at all stages of the individuals care pathway. The group will give people with a hidden impairment the opportunity to share their experiences and it is hoped the work will lead to the development of toolkits for staff, specific training, further research, and the sharing of positive messages.
The project team is multidisciplinary and is made up of staff from a range of services across the Trust as well as service users and carers, some of whom have hidden impairments.
The Trust’s inclusion development coordinator Alex Feather, said "The group, which is thought to be the first in the country, is working to ensure that the Trust can provide appropriate and flexible support to service users, regardless of their disabilities. This move represents real progress for people with a hidden impairment."
If you’d like to help the HIP team or if you have a special interest in this area contact Alex Feather on 01484 434634.
You can find out more about these different conditions online at www.nhs.uk