On the 19th of June 2019 some Bethphage members and carers took part in the Mencap hosted workshop “Know your rights” as part of their “Treat me well” campaign. The campaign is in its second year of a three year campaign. The national campaign is led by local people, with the aim to transform how the NHS treat people with learning disabilities. The workshop was presented by Bindya and co-presented by our very own Jess! The turnout was positive, there was a great supportive atmosphere and everyone seemed to enjoy how interactive it was.
Mencap conducted a survey with over 500 people with learning disabilities and asked them about their experiences with hospitals; many said they felt ignored and some struggled to understand their doctors as complicated jargon was used.
The workshop was broken down into three sections: knowing your three most important rights when visiting a hospital, understanding the reasonable adjustments you can ask for and knowing how to challenge when problems arise.
Your three most important rights:
- The right to be treated equally, supported by the Equality Act (2010)
- The right to accessible information, supported by the Accessible Information Standard (2015)
- The right to get support to make decisions in hospitals, supported by the Mental Capacity Act (2004)
Reasonable adjustments are things you can ask of your hospital to make your visit easier, comfortable or more productive.
An example of this would be requesting that your carer, family member or friend is present during your appointment or perhaps asking the doctor to avoid using medical jargon and instead speaking in simple sentences.
Finally, there are many ways to challenge treatment, ranging from speaking with the doctor or disability nurse, to reaching out to Health Watch or in serious cases the Health Service Ombudsmen.
We came away from the day feeling positive and looking forward to the next workshop on the 3rd July!