City MP celebrates Learning Disability week and backs ‘Treat me well’ campaign

Stephen Morgan, MP for Portsmouth South, is backing the Treat me well campaign from Royal Mencap Society to improve healthcare for people with a learning disability.

Stephen attended Mencap’s Learning Disability Week reception in Parliament on Monday 18th June where he invited Portsmouth’s disability champion, John Attrill, to join him. The Portsmouth South MP also spoke with people with a learning disability about the challenges they face when visiting their doctor or a hospital.

Mencap reports that three people with a learning disability die avoidably every day. That is to say their deaths would be avoided by improving the quality of healthcare for people with a learning disability.

Mencap’s new campaign, Treat me well, aims to change this by making sure all health professionals receive learning disability awareness training. An important part of this is understanding how to make ‘reasonable adjustments’. These are simple things such as having a quiet space to wait for an appointment, jargon free easy to understand information and longer appointment times as it can sometimes take longer for people with a learning disability to express themselves or they may well need support to do so.

These reasonable adjustments are often small but can really help and even save lives.

Stephen Morgan MP, said:

“Too often people with learning disability are not properly helped to understand what their doctor or nurse is explaining about their treatment and medication, or given the time to explain how they are feeling.

That’s why this Learning Disability week I’m calling for the Secretary of State to improve healthcare standards for people with LD.

It was fantastic to be joined by John who continues to live up to his title as a true champion of people with a learning disability in Portsmouth and I look forward to working with local charities and our NHS Trust to reduce healthcare inequalities for people with learning disability.”

Lloyd Page, Mencap spokesperson with a learning disability, said:

“Treat me well will help the NHS provide better healthcare to people with learning disabilities. By giving all doctors and nurses learning disability training they will have the skills and knowledge to give the 1.4million people in the UK with a learning disability the best possible healthcare.

We also want everyone who treats a patient to learn about reasonable adjustments. A reasonable adjustment is when a person goes into hospital and asks for extra support so they can have an equal service to everyone else. Reasonable adjustments are powerful and really help us when they are put in place. All healthcare professionals should offer reasonable adjustments.

My message for healthcare professionals is to please treat patients with a learning disability well, give us respect, and think about what reasonable adjustments you can give to help us.”