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Learning disabilities film premieres at the House of Lords

27 March 2014

Health Care

Southend University Hospital launched their information film for patients with learning disabilities, at the House of Lords last week.

The afternoon tea event at the prestigious venue included a private showing of the film and was attended by Lord Rix.

The film titled 'Coming to outpatients' will help those with learning disabilities familiarise themselves with the hospital before they come in to have treatment, helping them understand what the experience will be like and in turn reassuring those who may be anxious.

The need for this first film in a planned series was identified by people with learning disabilities on the hospital's learning disabilities committee. One barrier to equal care identified by them was poor communication leading to a lack of understanding about treatments.

'Coming to outpatients' was produced by the hospital and also starred members of the learning disabilities committee.

Lord Rix's charitable foundation, the Rix Rothenberg Thomson (RTR) foundation, donated the funds to the hospital's learning disabilities committee to make the production after becoming impressed with the hospital's continuing approach to meeting the needs of people with learning disabilities.

Other guests that attended the premiere included local MPs David Amess and James Duddridge plus Lord Dafyyd Wigley and The Viscount Tenby.

The film is currently available to view on the hospital's website


The committee also hope to spread the word about the film and make it accessible to all local support groups and charities.

Fred Heddell, hospital non-executive director and member of the learning disabilities committee, said: "The day was a great success for all involved. At Southend University Hospital, we take the care of patients with learning disabilities seriously. We have a real desire to make sure they receive the same high quality treatment as every other patient."

The RTR foundation was set up by comic actor Lord Rix in honour of his daughter who had a learning disability and he has since become an influential campaigner for people with learning disabilities.

The LD committee is made up of the hospital's learning disabilities nurse Sarah Haines, community SEPT nurses, Southend/Castle Point/Rochford health access champions and their support workers plus SHIELDS members from Southend Borough Council.


With pic - The hospital's learning disabilities committee members with Lord Rix