On Monday 22nd June 2015 Dr Roger Banks ran a ‘Talking Points’ stand about “Communicating with patients who have a learning disability” at the annual conference of the BMA – British Medical Association. Lisa Frith of the HealthFirst Liverpool project was one of the people asked to work with him on the stand to engage with delegates, talk to them about the views of people with a learning disability, about what does and doesn’t work in their interactions with health services and to encourage the doctors to have a direct conversation with them!
Lisa said “The BT Conference Centre was bigger than you imagine, it was a fantastic building. It was a great experience getting to talk to junior doctors, nurses, psychologists and psychiatrists. I felt listened to. Some of the people were in their 3rd year of training and I made them think of things they had never thought of before – asking them “why? – why do you do that?”. I worked with Dr Roger Banks – he was nice. He was from North Wales and he told me he used to work in Olive Mount. Jane Maria Williams who is a Learning Disability Nurse had “talking points” in a cup on the table with quotes from real people saying things like “I feel scared when I go to the doctors.” We asked the junior doctors how they felt they could help that person and improve people’s experiences. One doctor said “we could go out and see the person before the actual appointment.”
“It makes me feel like I’m making a difference when I go to these things and I speak up. I feel listened to. I feel like I’m helping other people with a learning disability. I feel like an advocate for health for people with a learning disability.”
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