Experiences of acute hospital services among people with mild to moderate learning disabilities
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Experiences of acute hospital services among people with mild to moderate learning disabilities

Jean Howieson Acute liaison nurse practitioner based, Kirklands Hospital, Lanarkshire

Jean Howieson describes how her research dissertation study revealed how to improve care outcomes for these patients

There is a wealth of literature on access to health care for the general population, but there is little knowledge about the experiences of people with learning disabilities accessing acute hospital services.

This article is based on the views of seven people with mild to moderate learning disabilities who took part in two focus groups in which they discussed their experiences of acute hospital services.

Three main themes were identified during the discussions:

Treat me right, with subordinate themes of valuing people, dignity, respect, and therapeutic relationships.

Hidden in plain site, with subordinate themes of accountability, staff attitude and vulnerability.

Health care for all, with subordinate themes of inappropriate communication systems, inaccessible information and the environment.

Although the study was small, the findings resonate with current literature and add to the growing body of knowledge relating to acute hospital services and the needs of people with learning disabilities.

Learning Disability Practice. 18, 9, 34-38. doi: 10.7748/ldp.18.9.34.s27



Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 11 June 2015

Accepted: 14 September 2015

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