Mencap launched the 'Getting it Right' charter to encourage healthcare organisations to work towards specific improvements they could make to ensure people with learning disabilities can access their services.
The Trust has implemented all the pledges of the charter in its inpatient units.
We have developed our own version of the hospital passport. This can be completed by a service user, carer or healthcare professional working in partnership with service users, families and carers.
The passport is completed prior to or on admission to hospital and helps to quickly let those working with the service user know what their needs are in relation to their learning disability.
The passport is not only used on admission to hospital but also when a service user's care is transferred from one team to another.
Learning disability awareness training
Many healthcare professionals working across services in the Trust have received learning disability awareness training. This has highlighted the problems which can be experienced by people with learning disabilities when accessing health care services and the reasonable adjustments that can be made to overcome these barriers.
Ongoing learning disability awareness training will be provided for all staff who have face to face contact with service users and their carers.
Accessible information for people with a learning disability
We have developed a number of resources in accessible formats. This includes information about safeguarding adults at risk, the care programme approach, electronic records, patient advice and liaison services, a 'Welcome to the Ward' pack and how to make a complaint.
We also provide healthcare staff with links to a wide range of accessible information about mental health conditions, the Mental Health Act and medication.
Benchmarking for reasonable adjustments
All inpatient units have participated in a process of measuring their service against best practice standards in working with people with learning disabilities in mainstream health services. This process has been tailored specifically for those working with people who have mental health problems and learning disabilities.
The process covered seven areas of care including working in partnership with service users and carers, building relationships with local specialist services for people with learning disabilities, physical health checks, providing accessible information and the Mental Capacity Act.
Following the initial benchmarking process, teams have produced service improvement action plans. Teams are supported to continue a cycle of planning, implementation and review to deliver ongoing improvements to the way in which they support people with learning disabilities and their families and carers.