More support for patients with learning disabilities at NNUH

A second full time Learning Disability Liaison Nurse has been appointed to help patients with learning disabilities and/or autism at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).

Tara Webster, a qualified Learning Disability Nurse, has joined NNUH on a two-year contract funded by the Norwich and District branch of Mencap, the leading charity for people with learning disabilities.

Tara joins Tristan Johnson, Learning Disability Liaison Nurse at NNUH, and will work clinically with in-patients and out-patients every day, ensuring staff are given advice and support so that reasonable adjustments can be made for patients with learning disabilities and/or autism. There is a legal requirement for reasonable adjustments to be made, and at NNUH these include:

• Ensuring a learning disability risk assessment is completed for each patient on admission
• Using a hospital communication booklet so that patients with learning disabilities and/or autism can communicate with doctors and nurses
• Using electronic alerts on patient records
• Providing extra support for patients and their carers, for example, by providing an extra member of staff or flexible visiting for carers

Tristan Johnson said: “This role will make a huge difference to patients both on the wards and at out-patient appointments, and will be a great boost for staff who will have more support to guide them on how to care for this vulnerable group of patients.”

Tara Webster said: “I am really excited to have joined the NNUH Learning Disability Team and to be given the opportunity to make a difference to the care of people with learning disabilities in hospital.”

Jim Gook, Former Chairman of Norwich and District Mencap, said: “The trustees were really pleased to be able to financially support this post, which will help the team at the NNUH develop this service further and to reassure carers and parents of all individuals with a learning disability.”

Emma McKay, Director of Nursing, said: “It’s fantastic to have Tara on board to help us build on the work already taking place, to ensure patients with learning disabilities and/or autism have good health outcomes and to make their hospital experience as good as possible.”

Monday 23rd of December 2013 10:00:33 AM