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Learning Disabilities Services

Learning Disabilities Services

Learning disabilities services
We are committed to providing high quality care to meet the needs of the local population, including people with learning disabilities. 

What is a learning disability? 
A learning disability is defined as ‘a significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information, to learn new skills (impaired intelligence) with a reduced ability to cope independently (impaired social functioning) which started before adulthood with a lasting effect on the person’s development (developmental delay).' (Valuing People, 2001).  People with a learning disability find it harder than others to learn, understand and communicate, although the extent of each person's difficulties vary. Providing the right kind of support can help overcome the difficulties.  

What causes learning disability? 
Learning disability is caused by the way the brain develops. There are many different types and most develop before a baby is born, during birth or because of a serious illness in early childhood. Learning disability is life-long and usually has a significant impact on a person's life.

How many people are affected? 
There are an estimated 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Like all of us, they are individuals who want different things in life and need different levels of support (Sources: Mencap, Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, National Library for Health)

What do we do to help? 
The trust has implemented a number of measures to improve the care provided to patient with learning disability. The trust continues to work closely with the Specialist Learning Disability Service and Learning Disability Partnership Boards in Enfield and Haringey to ensure that we “get it right” for people with learning disabilities who access our services.

If you are a patient with a learning disability, a paid carer or family carer you may find the resources below useful:

Enfield Council's learning disability service for adults

Haringey Council's learning disability service for adults

Hertfordshire County Council's learning disability service for adults

General information links
GMC Learning Disabilities website - short videos and e-learning tool for doctors - to help doctors and other healthcare professionals provide better care for people with learning disabilities.

Benchmark of best practice in learning disability nursing  

Meeting the health needs of people with learning disabilities - RCN guidance for nursing staff

Mencap
Mencap is a charity which works with people with a learning disability to change laws and services, challenge prejudice and directly support thousands of people to live their lives as they choose. Further information is  available on the Mencap website

Easy to read information
A picture of health - this provides easy to read information to help people with learning disabilities to understand health, illness, lifestyle and treatments

Asthma UK - the charity has launched new resources specially designed for people with learning disabilities and asthma. These resources have been developed in partnership with people with learning disabilities who have asthma

Best Life Health - healthy living guides

Death, dying and bereavement - people with learning disabilities tell their stories about dying, death and bereavement to support others with learning disabilities

NHS Inform – a new NHS information service 

Easy Health - health information in an easy to read format

SeeAbility - eye care for people who are visually impaired  

Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities - the charity works with people with learning disabilities, families, carers, local authorities and service providers to help people with learning disabilities 

Going into hospital with a learning disability - useful guide produced by NHS Choices

The Norah Fry Research Centre - guide to health services produced by Bristol University using pictures and Easy Read  

Palliative Care for People with Learning Disabilities Network - produces resources for people with learning disabilities

Patient Pictures - a series of online books to help explain medical conditions, tests, treatments and procedures to patients

University of Birminham - Medication Information Learning Disability Medication guidelines in Easy Read including medication to manage behavioural problems

The Hospital Communication Book  - helps people who have difficulties understanding or communicating to get an equal service in hospital 

Making the Hospital Communication Book  - a guide to making your own hospital communication book. 

Autism information
The Transition Toolkit is a summary of common issues surrounding transition for young people on the autism spectrum, as well as a guide to the considerations that should be taken by those supporting them. The toolkit offers some practical strategies to support transition periods as well as provide a list of useful links to other organisations and support materials.

Caring for someone with autism - useful guide produced by NHS Choices

Supporting patients with learning disabilities
The aim of the hospital passport is to provide up to date information on patient’s with learning disabilities on admission and prevent delay in their assessment and treatment.  The document provides staff with important information about the individual patient includes useful contacts with community partners. This ‘hospital passport’ is the property of the person with learning disabilities and should be kept safe during admission and must be returned to the individual on discharge from hospital.

The hospital's patient passport form is available to view here

Page last updated: October 2015