Learning disabilities week
21 August 2013
Coming to hospital can be an anxious time for many people but especially for those patients with learning disabilities.
Southend Hospital offers a range of support to help ease that
concern and as part of Learning Disability Awareness week staff
have been highlighting the work we do to ensure the experience of
coming to hospital is not so daunting.
Learning Disabilities clinical nurse specialist, Sarah Haines,
kept patients, staff and visitors up-to-date with an information
stand in the outpatients department throughout the week.
Examples of the help available include easy read information on
offer throughout the hospital, including easy read food menus and
publications on medical procedures like routine tests and
A hospital passport is offered to each patient with learning
disabilities, an important document that allows individuals to
record personal information about medication, their likes and
dislikes and how they communicate with others, which can assist
greatly in their care, and prevent anxiety.
The hospital also offers 'getting to know you' visits where
patients can visit the hospital and familiarise themselves with
This helps them to become more comfortable with departments they
may need to use in the future like phlebotomy and x-ray.
Sarah was joined by health facilitation nurse Paula Pearl from
South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT) and
together they handed out information leaflets and answered
questions about the specialised care they provide for patients with
Sarah said: "As this week is Learning Disability Awareness week
we took the opportunity to put together this display and be
available to answer questions.
"It is essential that we raise awareness of the support we can
provide here at Southend for both patients, families, carers and
staff as this this will enable us to further improve the
service and experience for people with learning