Access to health and social care services and information
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Access to health and social care services and information

Christine Wilson Research fellow, Faculty of Health, Sport and Science of the University of Glamorgan
Ian Mansell Senior lecturer, Faculty of Health, Sport and Science of the University of Glamorgan

Christine Wilson and Ian Mansell discuss the findings of a study that explored carers’ perceptions of obtaining support from health professionals

Aim The aim of this study was to explore carers’ perceptions of their ability to access a range of health and social care services, including information about the services.

Method A total of 151 participants, who were all members of a charity set up and run by informal carers of people with learning disabilities, were given semi-structured questionnaires, which yielded qualitative and quantitative data. Further data came from two focus groups.

Results The majority of carers (131) had good access to their GPs and dentist, but approximately two thirds found accessing occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, psychologists or counselling services ‘very difficult or impossible’. More than two thirds had difficulties accessing, changing or upgrading equipment.

Conclusion Professionals responsible for supporting carers must be adequately trained to provide timely, full and appropriate information to carers about these services, and effective help in accessing them.

Learning Disability Practice. 13, 5,32-38. doi: 10.7748/ldp2010.06.13.5.32.c7823

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