At the beginning of the month, we attended a virtual meeting with the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust Patient Experience team, and one of our supporters, who was sharing her story of a negative experience with them. It was a good meeting resulting in the offer for her to record her story which can then be used to educate and raise awareness of the real-life impact of decisions made. The Patient Experience team are a great group of caring individuals and we have worked with them often over the years. We always attend their open days which sadly have been on hold now for over 2 years, but we have everything crossed that they will start again soon, and when they do, we will let you know!
Mid-March saw the retirement of an amazing gentleman, Paul Harris from Princess of Wales hospital, where he had worked as a theatre specialist trainer. This is what he said on retiring: “Hearing about Paul’s tragedy inspired me to do things differently and was the story behind the SPA (Soothing Patient Anxiety) experience, trying to make the operating theatre a less scary place. As healthcare workers we are in a position where our actions can make such a difference to others lives. We need to create the difference between good care and individualised care.” Paul actions and focus exactly mirror what we at the Foundation campaign for, and it was a privilege to work with him.
Towards the end of the month, we received the final draft of the Paul Ridd Learning Disability Awareness Training which we are delighted will be launched tomorrow, April 1st. This is the culmination of years of campaigning, a petition and a debate in The Senedd in November 2019 for learning disability awareness training to become mandatory for all healthcare workers in Wales, and we feel this is a key milestone for us to have reached. This training will make a real difference to the hospital experience of people with a learning disability, as it will give staff awareness of the barriers that they face, and the tools with which to overcome them.