October was such a busy month for us, hence we are a little late sending out our update, many apologies!
We welcomed over 70 people to our inaugural roadshow, which we hosted, mid-October, alongside Mencap Cymru at the Swansea Scout & Guide HQ building. It was a wonderful day, very busy, with lots of great conversations with families and carers and lots of networking too. We were delighted with the turn out and so happy with the feedback on our “Access to Healthcare” booklets. People thought they were really helpful and a great resource to have. The learning disability liaison nurses and champions from Swansea Bay Health Board spoke to so many families and carers and shared lots of information about the tools available for people, and how they can help with hospital appointments or stays. The Welsh Ambulance Patient Experience team were amazing too! They brought along a non-emergency ambulance which they showed several groups and individuals around, which was a great success! They also shared lots of other resources and some great information. Mencap Cymru shared information about their helpline, an invaluable resource, and also about the support they offer to families and to people with a learning disability.
A few days later we attended an event organised by Your Voice Advocacy in Swansea Stadium, in which we again were able to share our “Access to healthcare” booklets with families and carers. The emphasis of the day was on the importance of the Annual Health Check for people with a learning disability. There were some amazing talks given including from one of our trustees Dr Dawn Cavanagh about the findings from her thesis for her PhD on the Annual Health Check and Dr Maria Vincent, a Swansea based GP who is really making a difference to her patients. It was an excellent day!
Towards the end of the month we travelled to Aberystwyth University to share Paul’s Story at a Learning Disability Awareness Workshop, arranged for their new adult and mental health nursing students who had only started their courses in September. This is the first time there has been a nursing degree in Aberystwyth, so we were delighted to be given the opportunity to speak with these students and staff at the very beginning of their nursing careers. We were joined by some of the liaison team from Hywel Dda who shared their vital role and also by one of their Health Check Champions and her carer. We have already had some great feedback from the event, which is always so good to hear, as we know the very real impact hearing Paul’s Story can have on the practice of healthcare professionals.