Sherwood Forest Hospital Foundation Trust – Reasonable adjustments and more for patients with a learning disability
When staff at Sherwood Forest Hospital FT compared primary care registers of people with known learning difficulties to the registers held by the trust, something became immediately clear: theirs contained significantly fewer people.
Cue a pilot scheme with local clinical commissioning groups to address the mismatch. The idea is to increase the trust’s knowledge of patients with LDs, and so make it easier for appropriate adjustments to be made: accessible appointment letters, calls ahead of time so appointments can be planned, and offering support to carers.
Particular attention has been given to making sure individuals don’t get “lost” when they transition from children’s to adults services. There has also been focus on giving more support to people with LD when they are having children of their own.
As well as developing more accurate registers, the trust has also bolstered training on LD. Previously, this was just a simple online workbook. Today, information on learning disability is part of mandatory training.
Since the introduction of the project, non-attendance rates for outpatient appointments have fallen; experience for people with learning disabilities improved; and more people with LD are returning home as part of a complete family unit after giving birth.
Overall, the belief is that more people are now receiving a more equitable service, with the support that they, their carers and their loved ones need.
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HSJ Awards 2018: Enhancing Care by Sharing Data and Information