An NHS trust in Doncaster has become to latest to launch an innovative ”passport” scheme to help make care and treatment easier for people with a learning disability.
Together, the Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber (RDaSH) NHS Foundation Trust and Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group, have created a primary health and care passport to help nursing staff provide the right treatment for patients with a learning disability or autism.
Thanks to the work of a learning disability nurse who led the move, patients at the trust will now receive a passport that provides an overview of the behaviours that they display when they are well.
It will also contain key information based on who the individual is, how they prefer to communicate, what medications they are on and how healthcare professionals know if they are in pain or displaying signs that they may be unwell.
The initiative has been set up to help prevent common questions asked of individuals with a learning disability and/or autism, which can confuse patients if often repeated and can often lead to them not attending or accessing local GP or nurse appointments.
To coincide with the passport launch, a purple wristband has also been developed to help healthcare professionals working in primary care identify and be aware that an individual has a learning disability or autism. This will help to ensure that staff know to read the patients’ passport before an appointment or contact takes place.
The passports were created by primary liaison learning disability nurse, Jayne Thompson, along with the health action team at the trust and with support from Louise Darling, a co-trainer and support peer worker who works with the team.
The team hopes that the passports will help to provide a vital patient voice and perspective on what matters to people with a learning disability.