How to get care right for people with learning disabilities in the emergency department: ask and engage
Intended for healthcare professionals
CPD    

How to get care right for people with learning disabilities in the emergency department: ask and engage

Viki Ainsworth Expert by parental experience
Tilly Ainsworth Expert by living experience
Jim Blair Independent Nurse Consultant, learning disabilities and associate professor (Hon) (learning disabilities), Kingston University and St George’s, University of London, London

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise the legal responsibility to provide equal access to care for people with learning disabilities who attend the emergency department (ED) by making reasonable adjustments

  • To identify approaches that can ensure people with learning disabilities who attend the ED receive equitable and timely care

  • To count towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD, or you may wish to write a reflective account (UK readers)

  • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

Healthcare professionals are legally obliged to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that people, including those with learning disabilities, can access appropriate and timely care. However, although people with learning disabilities are high users of general health services, staff have little understanding of learning disability with a negative effect on patient experience and outcomes.

This article explores some of the challenges experienced by people with learning disabilities in the emergency department (ED). Each section focuses on a different aspect of how to adjust the delivery of healthcare to meet their needs, along with exercises to ensure those adjustments have been understood and to provide practical learning outcomes. Personal stories are also used to identify examples of when and where these adjustments could have been used to provide equal healthcare in the ED.

Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2021.e2070

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

jim.blair2@nhs.net

Conflict of interest

None declared

Ainsworth V, Ainsworth T, Blair J (2021) How to get care right for people with learning disabilities in the emergency department: ask and engage. Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2021.e2070

Published online: 11 February 2021

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