North Bristol NHS Trust pledges to ‘get it right’ for people with learning disabilities

Monday, 20 September 2010

North Bristol NHS Trust has signed up to Mencap’s ‘Getting it Right’ charter to show its commitment to ensuring people with a learning disability get the healthcare they have a right to.

‘Getting it Right’ calls on health professionals to commit to a charter that will help make real changes and save lives. NBT is working with staff to ensure that people with learning difficulties are fully informed and supported during their time with us.

Over the past few months, North Bristol NHS Trust has made a number of changes to improve the overall experience of patients and visitors with learning disabilities.

Carol de Halle, Deputy Director of Nursing at North Bristol, said: “We are working closely with NHS South Gloucestershire commissioners and have employed two learning disability liaison nurses who are based on both our hospital sites.

“They have done a fantastic job in raising awareness of the issues faced by people with learning difficulties and offer a wide range of training and support to all levels of staff.

“Depending on the patient, they work with the ward team to tailor a specific care programme for them.

“This can involve pre-visits at the hospital or at home to ensure the patient is fully aware of what is going to happen to them during their time at hospital and, in some cases, streamlining of appointments/consultations enabling everything to be done in one visit.”

The Trust is also producing ‘easy read’ versions of its patient information leaflets, especially written for people with learning difficulties and these can be found on the our recently revamped and much easier to use website - http://www.nbt.nhs.uk/.

Alongside the nine point charter, Mencap will give North Bristol NHS Trust health professionals, practical guidance and spell out the adjustments they need to make to their working practices when treating someone with a learning disability to ensure fair and equal healthcare. 

David Congdon, Mencap’s Head of Campaigns and Policy, said: “Our charter sets out a standard of practice and will make health trusts accountable to people with a learning disability, their families and carers.

“We welcome North Bristol NHS Trust's commitment to constantly strive to uphold these standards and help end indifference in the NHS.

For more information on the ‘Getting it Right’ campaign and charter, and to show your support www.mencap.org.uk/gettingitright.