Over 40 service users and carers came together to talk about improving access to healthcare services for people with learning disabilities at an event in Dudley on Tuesday 26th June.The Big Health Check-Up Day was an opportunity for Dudley health service purchasers and providers to hear from people with learning disabilities. Service users spent the day voting on what they thought of the current standard of service and what actions could be taken to improve mainstream health services for them in the future.
“People with learning difficulties often find it difficult to access mainstream healthcare; from going to the dentist to having procedures explained to them in hospital,” says Jacqueline Howells, Health Facilitation Co-Ordinator.
“This workshop has given our service users a chance to shape that access and also tell NHS Dudley what frustrates them.”
Fifty-one per cent of attendees said access to healthcare was moderate. Comments from service users include:
- My dentist didn’t have an understanding of Asperger’s and therefore didn’t treat me like an adult
- I struggled when in hospital because doctor didn’t talk directly to me
- I would like access to hospital records without being questioned
- I’m not getting the mobile health services due to day centres closing and am struggling to get access to healthcare facilities
This event was part of a new national self-assessment framework driven by the Strategic Health Authority on improving access into mainstream healthcare for all individuals.
The results from the session will be feedback to NHS Dudley and will be used to design future services.