NSFT works collaboratively and in partnership with service users who have a learning disability in order to learn from their expertise and lived experience about how services can be improved, a concept that was inconceivable as recently as 30 years ago. Below is a case study showing how service users help the Trust.
James Massey is
an “expert by experience” who works closely with our Trust to help make
improvements for patients with a learning disability.
spent 18 of his 38 years in a variety of hospitals, James, who has a diagnosis
of learning disability and autism, has a wealth of experience to draw on and
Now living in
supported accommodation in Lowestoft, he has for the past three years been a
member of the Waveney Learning Disability Service Users and Carers Forum, and
is its current Deputy Chair.
The Forum is an
opportunity for service users to share their experiences, to be involved in the
development of services and for healthcare professionals to seek views on
topics like being in hospital or particular medications.
cannot read well, is also a member of the Trust’s Easy Read Group. One of the
projects he has been involved in is producing an Easy Read reminder card for service
users to bring along to consultant appointments.
disability nurses are important because they believe in you and help you speak
up, loud,” he said.
Sue Medley, Learning
Disabilities Specialist Nurse, said: “When I qualified as a ‘Registered Nurse
for the Mentally Handicapped’ in 1991, it was unthinkable that we would work
closely with service users
have so much to offer and after almost 30 years I still often find they give a
perspective I would never consider.
James for many years and we have a mutual respect for each other, in exactly the
same way that I do for any other colleague.”
Sue added that
James’s involvement in the Forum and EasyRead Group had helped to improve his
mental health wellbeing.
To read more about learning disability nursing, click here.