Will the NHS Care for me?
Monday night’s Panorama programme highlighted the scandalous fact that people with a learning disability are still more than twice as likely to die from avoidable causes than the rest of the population.
Actor and campaigner Tommy Jessop spoke to families whose loved ones had experienced poor care from the NHS, in some cases leading to early deaths. We learned about how people’s voices had not been heard and how their learning disability had not been properly taken into consideration during their time in hospital.
Advance’s Director of Support, Andrew Belcher, said: “People with Learning Disabilities should receive the same standard of care as anyone else in society. Taking the time to listen to people and really understand their needs when putting care plans in place can save lives. We want to make sure our customers feel empowered to get the care they deserve.
“I would encourage customers and their families to find out more about Mencap’s ‘Treat Me Well’ campaign which calls on the NHS to make reasonable adjustments for people with Learning Disabilities when they are cared for in hospital.
“I’d also like to remind customers about the importance of getting their annual health check. This is something we can provide support with and it is an important part of making sure you stay fit and healthy.”
Ending the programme, Tommy Jessop said: “Now more than ever, people with a Learning Disability want to be heard. And we say we should be treated like everyone else.
“Hopefully people will listen to us, understand us, and really talk to us, so that we truly do have a voice.”
If you would like to ask any questions about getting an annual health check, or if you have any concerns about your health and the care you are receiving, please speak to your support worker.
Find out more about Mencap’s ‘Treat Me Well’ campaign, and get involved here: https://www.mencap.org.uk/get-involved/campaign-mencap/treat-me-well
The Open University helped to make the Panorama programme. Find out about their research into the health outcomes of people with Learning Disabilities here: https://connect.open.ac.uk/health-wellbeing-and-sports/panorama-will-the-nhs-care-for-me