Cumbrian born Brian Evans has joined the team at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) in a brand new role to add further experience to the Nursing division and improve services for local people with learning difficulties.

As UHMBT’s Clinical Nurse Specialist for Learning Disabilities, new recruit Brian Evans will be focusing on enhancing the care and experience for patients with learning disabilities.

Working alongside Trust staff, GP surgeries, community learning disability teams, social services, families, support providers and advocacy services, Brian will be able to discuss any specific needs and gather ideas and suggestions on how to make sure the service offered to individuals with learning disabilities when they need to come into hospital is person-centred and specific to meets their individual needs.

A highly trained and experienced nurse within his relevant field, Brian has many years’ experience in learning disability nursing, including managing a learning disability supported service. Before joining UHMBT, Brian was a community learning disability nurse in the challenging behaviour pathway and the registered manager for a nursing home for individuals with learning disabilities, mental health issues, complex needs, autism and challenging behaviour. Brian also has a BSc Hons degree in behaviour analysis and intervention and supporting individuals on the autistic spectrum.

Brain Evans, Clinical Nurse Specialist for Learning Disabilities, UHMBT, said: “I want to raise awareness of how we can all support people with learning disabilities better both within the hospital and in the wider community. My goal in this role is to raise awareness and ensure the support for individuals with learning disabilities is person-centred and proactively planned, both at pre-admission stage and during the initial stages of admission to hospital to try to reduce the anxiety and stress people may experience when having to come into hospital.”

All healthcare staff are expected to make reasonable adjustments to ensure the care we provide meets the individual’s specific needs. This can include things such as identifying any environmental needs, interpersonal needs, communication requirements and specific support needs. A fundamental aspect of providing care is making sure patients give informed consent to any treatment plan or procedure. In some cases patients who may not be able to make the decision themselves may need staff to apply the principles of the Mental Capacity Act (2005), or some patients may need to receive the information in a different format to enhance understanding.

Part of Brian’s role will be to offer advice and training to staff to help them understand the most appropriate care provision taking into account the specific needs of each individual patient. In the future, it is hoped that all individuals with learning disabilities will come into hospital with a ‘Hospital Passport’. These passports are personal to the individual and identify their specific needs, upon arrival at hospital they can provide staff with their passport and immediately the member of staff will know the best way to support the person ensuring treatment is effective.

Brian added: “I am really excited to have joined the teams at UHMBT. I was born and bred in Dalton-in-Furness so I know the area well and am looking forward to playing my part in improving services for local people even further. Although helping individuals with learning difficulties is a huge passion of mine, in my spare time, I often enjoy my other passion - golf.”

Sue Smith, Executive Chief Nurse, UHMBT, said: “I am so pleased that Brian has joined our nursing team at UHMBT. Brian is well known to us from his work with our partners in Cumbria and it is a real coup for the Trust that he chose to come and work with us to help us to improve the care and experience we offer to patients who have learning disabilities"
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