Over 70 delegates, including the families of those with learning disabilities and representatives from local charities, as well as NHS doctors, nurses and managers, will gather at the Northern Design Centre in Gateshead to discuss how local services can be improved to meet the needs of those with challenging behaviour.
People with learning disabilities, particularly those with severe or multiple learning disabilities, can sometimes struggle to communicate effectively. This can occasionally cause them to behave in a way that others find difficult, placing themselves and others at risk. Challenging behaviour may include aggression, self-injury and disruptive or destructive behaviour.
Dr Dominic Slowie, chair of the region’s learning disability clinical network, said:
“Although challenging behaviour is not under the control of an individual with learning disabilities, it can have a big impact on their wellbeing by causing disruption to their home life and in some cases leading to injury.
“In extreme cases, people with learning disabilities are often temporarily admitted to specialist hospitals if they display challenging behaviour which puts them at risk. However, this can sometimes cause further disruption and should very much be seen as a last resort.
“This event is about looking at how care providers can work together to better understand and respond to the needs of those with learning disabilities in community settings - particularly when they display challenging behaviour - and therefore reduce the need for an admission to hospital.
“In cases where a hospital admission is inevitable, we also want to ensure that the best possible care is given and that nothing like the horrific abuse which took place at Winterbourne View Hospital in Bristol can ever happen here.”
The event will open with a play by local theatre group Operating Theatre about some of the difficulties that people with learning disabilities can face when accessing services. There will also be a presentation by health and social care colleagues from Salford about how they have successfully improved care for people with learning disabilities in their area.
After the event, the key themes discussed will be used to put together a plan to improve care for those with learning disabilities in the north east.
Earlier this year, the north east NHS launched the PWLD (people with learning disabilities) ‘Do you understand?’ campaign, to encourage all healthcare staff to improve the experience, outcomes and safety of care for patients with learning disabilities. For more information about this campaign, visit www.pwldnorth.nhs.uk
Kenny Helyer – communications officer
0191 210 6493 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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