Research has shown that people with learning disabilities die younger than the general population, and do not receive the same quality of care. This includes the barriers that people with LD experience when they access services, such as communication issues, lack of staff training or challenging behaviour. Because of this, people with LD often avoid going to the doctor and having their blood tests or vaccinations.
To improve that, Merseycare has developed a blood pathway, which starts with the referral to the LD team or the health facilitator. They create a person-centred plan to enable the individual to have their blood test done in their preferred way.
PFM members are working in partnership with Merseycare and other health professionals to review the process and empower the individuals to take a more active role in this process.
So far, we discussed trypanophobia (needle phobia) and explored the experiences our members have had with vaccines and blood tests. We have started looking at some ways of addressing these issues, such as desensitization and social stories.
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