Fordingbridge Surgery has become an accredited Learning Disability (LD) Friendly Practice - one of only a handful of GP practices across Hampshire to gain the accolade.
With the help of Southern Health’s strategic LD health facilitator, Maria Cook, the team has embedded LD-friendly criteria within the practice, ensuring local people with a learning disability get clear information and access to the best primary healthcare services possible.
For example, the team has started allowing extra time for their patients with learning disabilities and and all staff at the practice have received training in learning disability awareness and updated their annual health check training. Staff there also hosted a stand full of health information in an accessible format during Learning Disability Awareness Week earlier this year.
The surgery was fully supported in its endeavours by the Southern Health’s Maria Cook who worked with the practice to make sure its learning disability register was accurate. She explained: “People with a learning disability experience poorer health than the general population - partly because of multiple conditions and communication difficulties but also because of an inequality in how they’re treated. We’re working to tackle this and the new accreditation is really helping.”