We're celebrating Learning Disability Week this week and over the next few days we'll be sharing some of the work our LD teams have been doing to raise awareness of the health needs of people with learning disabilities.
Over the past 12 months, our Primary and Acute Care LD Liaison teams have been out and about at various events across Devon providing advice and accessible information to people about looking after their health and they will be doing the same this week.
Primary Care Liaison Nurses Ju Burrough and Dawn Gent attended last year's Blue Light Day, an annual event held for people with learning disabilities and their carers at Westpoint in Exeter. Look out for us at this year’s event too which is happening at Newton Abbot racecourse today.
Currently, we are promoting awareness of the National Screening Programmes and are hoping more people with learning disabilities take up the opportunity to have screening. We are able to offer individual help and support to make this process easier.
Back in January, Bowel Cancer UK came to deliver an awareness session for the Primary Care Liaison team. It’s important we understand the process and know what will happen so that we are able to better support individuals with learning disabilities to complete the bowel screening kit when they turn 60! The test is going to be changing in the near future to make it even easier for people to complete.
We also attended an event organised by the Downs Syndrome Association that was held in South Devon. Amy and Tania, Primary Care Liaison Nurses, carried out blood pressures and weight/BMI checks for individuals. Interestingly, every person with a learning disability who had blood pressure taken were all OK, but we did signpost a couple of carers/staff to see their GP as their blood pressure was a little high! Roz, the hospital liaison nurse from Torbay Hospital and her student nurse, Lisa were also on hand to answer any queries about going to hospital.
Finally, we held a joint Liaison Team day to share some of the work that each of our services has been doing. Improving the pathway between primary and secondary care is our aim.