A group of adults with learning disabilities were recently invited to visit the Mayor of Basingstoke. The group call themselves the ‘SpeakOut Group’ and have been working with Southern Health for ten years, based at Dame Mary Fagan House in Chineham.
The group helps to develop services delivered by Southern Health’s North Hampshire Community Learning Disability Team, by sharing their experiences and expertise of what it’s like to have a learning disability and what it’s like to access community health services.
Group members were able to tell the Mayor about the important work they are doing for Southern Health to improve services for people with learning disabilities. They work with health staff to offer consultation and advice on improvements that are being made, and some of their projects include designing information in easy read formats, taking part in peer reviews to quality check services and interviewing new health staff.
The SpeakOut Group is an extremely important part of Southern Health’s Community Learning Disability Team and team manager Mary Helen L’Heureux explained: “We couldn’t improve and change our services without SpeakOut’s experience and knowledge. They share with us their unique insight into what people need from our service.”
Members of the SpeakOut Group are proud of their contribution to improving local health care services, but also benefit from their membership through personal development and learning new skills. When the Mayor asked what they liked about SpeakOut, they agreed it was “meeting people, being involved in lots of projects, feeling valued and part of the team, being asked for our expertise and being able to change things for the better.”
Adults who have learning disability can contact their local team on 01256 776151 or visit Dame Mary Fagan House to find out how they might be able to join the group.
19 June 2017