Hospital backs Mencap’s learning disability charter

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THE CHESTERFIELD Royal Hospital has signed up to Mencap’s ‘Getting it right’ charter, committing to improving healthcare and treatment for people with a learning disability.

Mencap launched the ‘Getting it right’ campaign during 2010 to call on healthcare professionals to commit to help ensure people with a learning disability can understand the treatment they will receive and take part in the decision making process.

Alongside the charter Mencap will work with the Royal to develop practical guidance and spell out the adjustments they need to make to sure they can support and ensure the best possible healthcare for people with a learning disability.

Claire Martin is the Learning Disability Education Matron for the Royal, she said: “It’s about treating our patients that have learning disabilities with respect and dignity to ensure equal health care. Just because someone has a learning disability doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be able to explain what’s happening to them, go through their treatment or involve them in key decisions. Staff need to apply reasonable adjustments to support equal access to health care.

“Patients with learning disabilities respond to different stimuli, it can be visual rather than verbal but we need to relay information in a different way that’s tailored to the patient. That’s what we need to get across to our staff and that’s what we’re committed to provide.

David Congdon, Mencap’s head of campaigns and policy, said: ““Our charter sets out a standard of practice and will make health trusts accountable to people with a learning disability, their families and carers. We welcome the Royal’s commitment to constantly strive to uphold these standards and help end the indifference experienced by too many people with a learning disability”

For more information on the Getting it right campaign and charter, and to show your support,