Two members of staff at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have launched a brand new and unique initiative to improve the experiences of patients with learning disabilities.
The new learning disability service aims to improve patient experience, safety and care through support, education and awareness amongst staff about how best to support and guide those with learning disabilities.
There is a higher mortality rate amongst individuals with learning disabilities, who are at a higher risk of death from preventable causes. It is hoped that this improved care and support will mean that these patients are able to have shorter hospital stays; which will provide a much better experience for them.
Tracy Green and Lyndsey Wood are both Learning Disability Nurses at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, and have introduced this new service; which is the first of its kind in the hospital.
Tracy said: “We’ve worked with a number of patients already, and have enhanced their experiences of being in hospital. It’s so nice for us to have this opportunity to really make a difference on these patient’s lives; and it is such a rewarding role to have. It’s the little things that really do make a big difference in situations like these, and for this patient group in particular, ensuring that we maximise the care that they receive and the speed in which they can leave the hospital setting can have a big impact. The implementation of this project has been a big team effort; and we want to thank Louise Gracie in particular; who has supported this project and made sure that we have the resources to make our vision become a reality.”
Lyndsey said: “We have started by promoting increased use of the learning disabilities logo, which can be put by a patient’s bedside to help staff acknowledge that the patient has a learning disability and may need additional care and attention. This is just the start, and there is so much more potential to improve the care that patient’s with learning disabilities are receiving; as well as their families at such a difficult time. We’re really excited to be able to continue to make a difference to people’s lives.”