May we start by wishing you a very happy, healthy and peaceful New Year, and to thank you for your support throughout 2022.
The month began with us travelling to London, as we had been invited to speak at the annual Royal Society of Psychiatrists Learning Disability Conference. It was a great privilege for us to share Paul’s Story and how all the investigations and inquests into his death gave us a platform for change. We discussed the provision of awareness training and the acute learning disability liaison nurse service around the UK. It was good to hear that Wales is doing really well in this area!
We had several meetings regarding the uptake of the mandatory Paul Ridd Learning Disability Awareness Training throughout the NHS in Wales, following on from our meeting last month with Welsh Government, and the Deputy Minister Julie Morgan. We have been delighted to receive the “top tips” from those health boards who have mandated the training and consequently have had an excellent uptake of the training, with over 60% of staff completing it. We are very grateful to them for understanding the importance of this training, and for providing support to those staff undertaking it. We are determined to have everyone within the NHS on board in 2023, including all seven health boards and the 3 NHS Trusts. We will keep you posted!
I attended a fantastic online training with the Speech & language team from Swansea Bay UHB about the work they are doing to discuss the importance of people with a learning disability having their sight and hearing assessed. They shared examples of people who in their later years are discovered to have severe hearing loss, which has never been picked up. People who are assumed to have “challenging behaviour” or profound learning disabilities, but they have visual or hearing impairment which had not been assessed. One very important fact mentioned, was how within the last 2 years it has been discovered that there is a direct link between hearing impairment and dementia, which makes it even more important for people with a learning disability to have their hearing assessed.
Finally we can let you know that we raised over £520 in our inaugural Coffee & Cake fundraising week for which we are very grateful!