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What people with learning disabilities want from us

Compiled by Stacey Atkinson, matron/manager-inpatient services for people with learning disabilities and lead nurse, St Mary's Hospital, Leeds

Understanding what kind of support to administer to people who have learning disabilities can be difficult, but focus groups have helped provide the answers to give the best support

Research involving structured focus groups, involving discussion, the use of flash cards and easy-read information has elicited valuable information from 75 people who have learning disabilities, into what they want from those caring for them. The group included people from different backgrounds and sexual orientations, who had support from several services.

A total of 72% received family support, 64% had a social worker or case manager, 53% had leisure service support and 19% had community learning disability support. They were questioned about what skills and qualities they felt were important in those caring for them.

Older participants cited to have expert involvement in meeting their health needs, support maintaining social and family

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Understanding what kind of support to administer to people who have learning disabilities can be difficult, but focus groups have helped provide the answers to give the best support


Picture: iStock

Research involving structured focus groups, involving discussion, the use of flash cards and easy-read information has elicited valuable information from 75 people who have learning disabilities, into what they want from those caring for them. The group included people from different backgrounds and sexual orientations, who had support from several services.

A total of 72% received family support, 64% had a social worker or case manager, 53% had leisure service support and 19% had community learning disability support. They were questioned about what skills and qualities they felt were important in those caring for them.

Older participants cited to have expert involvement in meeting their health needs, support maintaining social and family contacts, having good leisure opportunities and being part of the community as being important. While the younger participants cited the importance of gaining more skills for independence.

Overall people wanted their supporters to be positive, have a sense of humour, look at and listen to them, be kind and patient, empowering, punctual and expert.

Unfortunately, the research provided little insight into what the group want from learning disability nurses, but it revealed the high level of insight that it is possible to gain when involving people with learning disabilities in focus groups.


Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities/Health Education England (2016) Workforce Development for People with Intellectual Disabilities: the Perspective from People with Intellectual Disabilities.

Compiled by Stacey Atkinson, matron/manager-inpatient services for people with learning disabilities and lead nurse, St Mary's Hospital, Leeds

 

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