Bassetlaw people with a learning disability are being given extra help to tap into the health care they need at their GP surgery and other community settings.
NHS specialist nurse Siouxie Nelson has become Bassetlaw’s learning disability primary health facilitator and acts as a vital link between local surgeries and the 400 people in the area who are registered as having a learning disability.
She is employed by Bassetlaw Health Partnerships in a post funded by NHS Bassetlaw Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Siouxie said: “It’s well known that people who have a learning disability have greater health care needs than the general population but are less likely to access health care services and sometimes miss routine appointments, like blood checks or screening sessions, simply because reasonable adjustments haven’t been made to accommodate their needs.”
“My role is to help them understand their healthcare and work with primary care staff to make special arrangements when they need to visit a surgery, such as organising a double length appointment with the GP. Or if they have, for example, difficulty sitting in a waiting room with other people, to arrange for them to be able to wait in a suitable side room until it’s time for their appointment.”
“I also work with staff based in GP surgeries, giving them learning disability awareness training and I link into other services, such as the Bassetlaw Community Learning Disability Team, based at Worksop’s Memorial Library.”
Speaking at last week’s Bassetlaw Big Health Day, NHS Bassetlaw CCG chair Dr Steve Kell said Siouxie is playing a key role in helping achieve better health outcomes for people who have a learning disability.
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