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Hospital passports not being used in learning disability care

Study reveals inconsistent use of background information packs to assist patients

Adjustments to meet the needs of people with learning disabilities are not implemented consistently and patients’ hospital passports are not being used, according to research conducted with
13 nurses at a conference.

The study used the 6Cs as a framework to explore the experiences of orthopaedic and trauma nurses caring for people with learning disabilities in acute hospital settings. 

The nurses were given questionnaires to complete at a conference that aimed to encourage good practice when caring for people with learning disabilities in acute settings.  

Positive partnerships

Three areas of good practice were identified by the nurses who took part: 

Positive partnerships were developed with patients and carers. 

Staff in acute settings were able to modify interventions to meet learning disability needs.

Effective support was received from the acute liaison learning disability nurse.

Consistently

However, it was felt that the patients’ hospital passports were not used and that adjustments to meet the needs of people with learning disabilities were not implemented consistently. Three respondents said care given to people with learning disabilities in the settings was adequate, but six said they did not know if care was adequate. 

The research has limitations due to the small number of respondents and the fact that, being participants at a conference, they may have had prior interest in the topic, which might have resulted in some bias. But the research identified areas to explore further. 

  • Drozd M et al (2015) The experiences of orthopaedic and trauma nurses who have cared for adults with a learning disability. International Journal of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing. doi:10.1016/j.ijotn.2015.08.003 

 

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