Promoting Health - Supporting Inclusion:
Healthy Lives, Part of the Community
How nurses and midwives can support children and adults with learning disabilities and their families
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What the Government says…
The Government has talked to lots of people about how to make the health of people with learning disabilities much better. It has written a new report about the work of nurses and midwives. The report is called "Promoting Health, Supporting Inclusion". It says all nurses and midwives can do things to help people with learning disabilities stay healthy and happy.
Improving the health of people with learning disabilities will help them live the kind of life they want in the community. The Government has already said that people with learning disabilities should be able to take an active part in their communities. They said this in another report called 'The same as you?'
What the report means to people with learning disabilities
"Promoting Health, Supporting Inclusion" says that the health needs of people with learning disabilities are really important. They need
Information on how to keep healthy
To be able to access the services they need
To be treated as an individual and with dignity
These are some of the things you should expect to happen because of the report.
Get regular health checks
Be able to see a local doctor or nurse
Local surgeries or health centres should have nurses who are specially trained in the health needs of people with learning disabilities
There will be nurses whose job it is to co-ordinate support for people who have to go in to hospital
People with complex needs should have a named Children's or Learning Disability Nurse to co-ordinate their care
Information about people's health needs will be put into their Personal Life Plans
Getting the right healthcare
People with learning disabilities need the same healthcare as everyone else and should get special care and advice if needed.
Here are some ideas about how people with learning disabilities could get better health services:
You and your family need to be listened to
Most nurses and doctors need to know more about your health needs
Many health centres and hospitals need to do more things to welcome people with learning disabilities
Information about health needs should be available in a way that people can use
People with profound and multiple disabilities should have the sort of nursing care that means they can stay in their own home. People with complex needs should be supported by nurses who have been specially trained. A specially named nurse will work with the families of people with profound and multiple disabilities.
These nurses will:
Organise the person's care
Carry out special health tasks if needed
Train and support others to do some of these special tasks
Help to find ways of supporting people to be part of their community
Share experience and things that work well
How will things change to make sure people get the right health care?
There will be changes to the way nurses are trained. NHS Education for Scotland along with others like the Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability will work together to make sure:
All nurses and midwives will be trained to treat people with learning disabilities well
Nurses who want to work all the time with people with learning disabilities will be able to get special training
There will be new training for nurses so that they can work with people with complex needs
People with learning disabilities and family carers will help to train nurses
What happens next?
The report suggested 24 things to help improve the health of people with learning disabilities.
The first thing that will happen is:
How will people with learning disabilities be able to get involved?
People with learning disabilities will be involved in health promotion. Lots of people will work together to make sure this happens
People with learning disabilities and family carers who are trainers could become Associate Lecturers in nursing schools. The Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability (SCLD) will help organise this
If you would like a copy of the report or you want to find out how you can be involved please contact:
Jan Murdoch (SCLD Co-ordinator)
Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability
Adelphi Centre Room 16
12 Commercial Road
Glasgow, G5 0PQ
T: 0141 418 5420 F: 0141 429 1142