BILD's Health Adviser Jim Blair comments on Mencap's new #TreatMeWell campaign
"BILD welcomes Mencap's campaign and seeks to work in partnership to enable people with learning disabilities and their families to experience healthier lives.
Everybody’s life has worth, we each matter and we all count. Each day in the UK, three people with a learning disability die avoidably in NHS hospitals. Health professionals work very hard to get care right for people with learning disabilities, but often find it hard to tune into the individual in a very short time in order to understand, interpret, and then address the health need. It is essential therefore to work together with experts by lived experience (parents, family members) and social carers who know the person with a learning disability really well.
There are many things that can really make a big difference such as Hospital Passports with vital information about the individual. Annual health checks can identify any health problems early and address them quickly and having learning disability nurses in hospitals working alongside other health colleagues is essential.
The most important thing we can all do for people with learning disabilities in relation to enhancing their health outcomes is to consider a physical or mental health issue behind a behaviour change this can save lives."