7th March 2021

People invited to find out more about Somerset’s learning disabilities services

People in Somerset who have an interest in learning disabilities services are being invited to come along to a roadshow at Taunton Central Library this Wednesday (30 January).

The event takes place from 10am – 3pm with Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s learning disabilities health team on hand to offer advice and support.

There will also be an opportunity to share your experiences of the services, including what you find good or bad and a number of interactive activities will be on offer for people to try out.

Mel Axon, clinical lead for learning disability nursing at Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It is well known that the health of people with learning disabilities is often poorer than that of the general population. They can often struggle to access good quality health care.

“The national inquiry into the Premature Deaths of People with Learning Disabilities identified that this population group experience considerably poorer health and on average live 20 years less than the general population.

“The report identified a number of possible reasons for this, including poor access to services, lack of reasonable adjustments in mainstream service, patient information being sent in a complex format and a lack of coordination of care.

“In Somerset we are passionate about promoting access to good quality health care for all people with learning disabilities and we want to see a reduction in health inequalities, with people being supported in services that will most effectively meet their needs.

“Within our learning disability specialist health team we have made some changes to services over the last few years that we believe means people are better able to access the help and support they need.

“We like to work proactively with people, supporting them to have a greater understanding of their own health and health care and enabling them to access support from services when needed.

“At the event we will share what the learning disability specialist health team does, and also to hear from people who use the service and people who support them about what is important to them.”

Wednesday’s event is the second learning disabilities roadshow held by Somerset Partnership following a successful event in Yeovil last year.