Learning disabilities

We offer assessment and support to people who have a learning disability (sometimes called an intellectual disability). Read on to learn more. Or view these pages:

And watch our videos on STOMP - stopping over-medicating people with a learning disabilty, autism or both - at the bottom of this page.

Who works in the learning disability service?

Our team includes:

  • Clinical psychologiststhree-learning-disabilities-colleagues-sitting-talking-smiling.JPG
  • Learning disability nurses
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Speech and language therapists
  • Strategic health facilitators - working with GPs, dentists, pharmacists and others to make sure people with a learning disability get the best possible care
  • Team administrators.

How do I get an appointment with the learning disability service?

Referrals can come to us from you, your family or carer, your GP, or other profession and then we will invite you or your parent for a first appointment to learn more about you. We will often visit you at home or anywhere else more suitable for you.

What happens on my first appointment?

At the first appointment often we will meet with you and your parents or carers, sometimes we may see them on their own. We will try and work out if our service can help you. If we find out that your difficulties are not because of a learning disability, or you are a child or young person then we will ask another service to help. We also sometimes also gather all of the people involved in your care together to try and work together. We will meet you with your parents/carers at a place that suits you.

What happens next?

We will ask lots of questions and maybe watch the things that you do. Our assessment and advice or support will be in your community or where you live. We will provide help that is personal to you which will meet your health needs and support your family. We will consider the right things for your age, ability and culture. We will plan how to help with you and your carers. We think the best outcomes for people are when families and their wider support networks are fully engaged and invested and working in partnership with our team.   

We use lots of person-centred approaches:     

  • Provide education – with regards to diagnosis and health problems, with further work as necessary      
  • Family and carer work – helping families and carers to understand behaviour, facilitating the development of skills, positive behaviour plans, enhancing coping mechanisms and promoting appropriate activity, occupation and communication
  • Specialised individual therapies – behavioural approaches adapted for use with learning disabilities e.g. family work, Occupational Therapy, Sensory Processing Assessments and interventions, Social Stories, Special Hearing Clinic, eating and drinking advice, postural and mobility care.
  • Pharmacological therapy (medicines)  used sometimes in complexconditions                       
  • Liaising and joint working      

We work closely with other people involved, with consent, to ensure a smooth coordinated approach

We might not just see you. We will talk to others involved in your care, and help other services to understand your needs (liaison). Some workers may contact us for advice (consultation) and we may also provide training for services that help you. Sometimes we will act as the main person to contact about your care (coordination).

Our learning disabilities services include:

Learn more about the different types of learning disabilities, how to cope with a diagnosis and challenging behaviour, and much more, by visiting the NHS website.

Download


Acute Liaison Nurse, Derby Hospital

information about the learning disability Nurse

Simple adjustments to support someone with a learning disability

Reasonable Adjustments Wheel.png

Reasonable Adjustments Wheel

To print a copy of the Reasonable Adjustments Wheel click here

Support for people with learning disabilities

People that can give you advice

Our Community Teams can help individuals with significant learning disabilities who need specialist support: Click here to find out more

For information about improving the health of people with learning disabilities contact our Strategic Health Facilitation team: 01332 268455

For more information about pharmacy support for adults with learning disabilities click here:

Patients with Learning Disabilities attending the Royal Derby Hospital can have help from Debbie Edwards, Acute Liaison Nurse for Learning Disabilities. You can contact her on 01332 340131 ext 88611. Click here to see the website for information about Debbie and the Hospital. NHS Choices have a guide to help people with a learning disability to prepare for a stay in hospital.

Our Patient Experience Team (Complaints and PALs) can advise you about local services and help you with any questions or concerns.Tel: 0800 027 2128 (Freephone) or 01332 623751 Emaildhcft.patientexperience@nhs.net

Click here to find out more about how to look after yourself and keep well.

Videos

Other people and organisations that may be able to help

Information about your health

Easy read and accessible information

View Easy Read literature on our Easy Read health information guides section >> 

Find out more about learning disabilities

To find out more about learning disabilities, see NHS Choices and the Mencap site

GMC advice for doctors on treating patients with a learning disability 

Advice for pharmacists on supporting adults with learning disabilities

What is the issue?

The Disability Partnership’s Pharmacy Project reported in 2016 that many pharmacies are providing a reasonably good service. However, there still remain issues with communication. Not all pharmacists are explaining why or how to take the prescribed medication.

What is the risk?

The Confidential Inquiry into premature deaths of people with learning disabilities (CIPOLD 2013) looked into the deaths of 247 people. It identified a number of frequently reported problems with medication, including:

  • the person not taking or not being given prescribed medicines, or not being given the correct dose
  • medicine being prescribed in a form the person could not take (due to swallowing difficulties) and family carers or staff devising unsafe solutions
  • lack of monitoring for side-effects or unreliable monitoring.
What advice is available?

Making reasonable adjustments

Read Public Health England's report, 'Pharmacy and people with learning disabilities: making reasonable adjustments to services'.

Choice and Medication

View Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust's medication resources by visiting our Choice and Medication site.

E-learning

Visit the website of the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) for an accredited learning programme on learning disabilities.

News for people with a learning disability

Easy News is the first newspaper designed to be accessible for people with learning disabilities.

Politics and the news are often inaccessible to people with learning disabilities because of the use of jargon and difficult language. Easy News will be published every two months and will be available in print and online. An audio version will also be available on CD and online.

Videos

STOMP - stopping over-medicating people with a learning disability, autism or both

Watch a series of videos on how to make sure medication levels are right for people with a learning disability, autism or both. You can also watch this as a playlist on our YouTube channel.

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