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Council Proudly Support 'Treat Me Well' Initiative

Council Proudly Support 'Treat Me Well' Initiative

January 10, 2019

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is pleased to support the ‘Treat Me Well’ initiative promoted by local charity MENCAP Northern Ireland.  

In alignment with the aim of ‘Treat Me Well’ initiative, the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust has transformed how people with a learning disability are treated in local healthcare services.  Lagan Valley Hospital and the Ulster Hospital are two essential healthcare facilities serving the Lisburn Castlereagh community; and the Council is supportive of all initiatives that make public services accessible for all.

Councillor Nathan Anderson, Chairman of the Council’s Corporate Services Committee, speaking about the initiative said: “‘Treat Me Well’ has brought to the fore the challenge of how people with a learning disability can face in healthcare. Making simple changes to service delivery can have a massive impact on patients with a learning disability.

“By making reasonable adjustments and removing barriers our two local hospitals have made a big difference to ensure residents with learning disabilities will get the support they need when accessing good quality local healthcare.  The Ulster and Lagan Valley hospitals are rolling out the ‘Hospital Passport Scheme for People with Learning Disabilities’, which helps their trained staff identify the correct reasonable adjustments they need to make for each individual.  

“The Trust’s Learning Disability Health Facilitator has also been working with GPs and now all GP practices in the Trust area offer those with a learning disability an annual health check.  I would like to commend both MENCAP Northern Ireland and the Trust for their dedication to helping those with learning disabilities feel equal in society,” concluded Councillor Anderson.

Reasonable adjustments include: speaking clearly in simple terms; taking time with the person; schedule appointments at times suitable to the person and possibly longer appointment slot; providing a quiet place to wait and not keeping them waiting too long; providing information in Easy Read format and always asking the person what they need.

Margaret Kelly, Director of MENCAP Northern Ireland added: “We are delighted that the South Eastern Health Trust has supported our ‘Treat Me Well’ campaign to ensure reasonable adjustments for people with a learning disability in their hospitals. We are also grateful for the support of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council in our campaign. People with a learning disability are four times more likely to die an avoidable death. Simple changes in hospital care can make a big difference for people with a learning disability.  Better communication, more time and clearer information is important to ensure reasonable adjustments.”