We had a very interesting meeting at the beginning of the month with Anne-Marie from Changing our Lives, a rights-based organisation that challenges social injustice and health inequalities. They are looking at the role of acute learning disability liaison nurses in England and wanted to chat with us about our work. We were thrilled to hear her say that she “was blown away” by what we have achieved in Wales, so we feel very proud! It was so good to chat through all the things that I guess we sometimes take for granted now, like our logo, the care bundle, the liaison service, learning disability champions and of course the mandatory training, many of which are only available in Wales. This is Paul’s legacy, and it is so important that we keep on campaigning for equality of healthcare for people with a learning disability to help prevent avoidable deaths.
Mid July we presented Paul’s Story to students in Bangor University and then the following day we were up in Cardiff at UHW to speak with a big group of second year adult and mental health nursing students. It is always a privilege to share his story and we had some great feedback. Looking at our figures later, we were thrilled to note that we have spoken to over 800 students in the last 12 months!
One great result from our healthcare roadshows has been the new links we are making with organisations that also support people with learning disabilities. We had a great chat with Cartrefi Cymru in Swansea as they have opened a Community Hub and so the plan is to do some work together over the next few months.
Talking of roadshows….in case you don’t already know, our next one is on Wednesday August 16th 10.30-3.30pm at Merthyr Football Club. We are delighted that from Cwm Taf Health board, the liaison nurses from the acute, primary and community teams will be there, along with Welsh Ambulance, Mencap Cymru, immunisation nurses and many more besides. If you could share this event with any people with a learning disability, their families or groups that you think could benefit from attending, we would be very grateful. Let us know if you need any further information!
We are currently looking at some new projects, (and hoping to get some funding from the National Lottery!) one of which is around the subject of Annual Health Checks. We had a great meeting with Maria Vincent, an amazing GP who we first heard speak at a Your Voice Advocacy event in Swansea last year. Maria is an inspiration and we are so looking forward to chatting with her over the next few months as she advises us on this new essential area of work.