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Andrew Jones Member of Parliament for Harrogate & Knaresborough

Andrew Jones MP

Member of Parliament for Harrogate & Knaresborough

Local MP backs ‘Treat me well’ campaign

Local MP, Andrew Jones, is backing the Treat me well campaign from the Royal Mencap Society to improve healthcare for people with a learning disability.

Attending Mencap’s Learning Disability Week reception in Parliament on Monday 18 June, Andrew spoke with people with a learning disability about the challenges they face when visiting their doctor or a hospital. Care Minister Caroline Dinenage MP and Shadow Minister Barbara Keeley MP also spoke about the need to tackle this healthcare inequality now.

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.

Harrogate & Knaresborough MP, Andrew Jones, said:

“Meeting and hearing the stories of people with learning disabilities placed a human face on the statistics around life expectancy for people with learning disabilities.

“I am supporting Mencap’s Treat me well campaign as people with a learning disability have the same right as anyone else to receive good healthcare.

“Too often people with a learning disability are not helped to understand what the doctor or nurse is explaining, are not provided with easy to understand information about medicines or given the time to explain how they are feeling.”

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.”

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