What is your current role and what do you enjoy about it?
I currently work as a lead Speech and Language Therapist in a Community Learning Disability Team. I work with people and their carers to develop communication skills and support with eating and drinking difficulties (dysphagia). As a team we work with adults with learning disabilities to try and address health inequalities and promote access to mainstream health services wherever possible. The part of my job I enjoy the most is working on accessibility, training others and advising on reasonable adjustments.
I really enjoy working with and learning from our experts by experience group (our ‘Service User Group’). The group offers invaluable insight in to the challenges someone with a learning disability can experience in trying to access healthcare and manage their own health. The group is a great example of how much more effective our work is when coproduction is utilised.
What is the key area you are working on at the moment?
The key area we are continuing to work on at the moment is the Accessible Information Standard. This standard runs right through the ‘patient’ journey and we want to make sure we are taking every opportunity to make our interactions and information effective. Information and interactions cannot be effective if they are not tailored to the person’s level of understanding. We are currently focusing on how we can use technology to provide information to people in different formats. This has involved a lot of work with our IT and governance teams.
The Southampton City Community Learning Disability team Service User Group (our expert by experience group) have made a video about why the AIS is important to them: