Siraaj Nadat led a Getting Ready health event today (29th May 2012) at the Public in West Bromwich. The Getting Ready event is part of the learning disability Health Self-Assessment that is happening all around England. At the Getting Ready day, we have been asking local people with learning disabilities what good things are happening with health care and what needs to get better. This information is then fed into a Big Health Check Day where people with learning disabilites work with professionals to prioritize what needs to be done locally to make health care better.
All of this information, along with information from the local council and the Primary Care Trust is then sent to the NHS West Midlands. NHS West Midlands check to see if this information is correct and then each local authority area is told how they are doing and what they need to do better.
The Parliament focused on Health Facilitation, Health Books for young people and the Acute Liaison Nurse who works at Sandwell General Hospital supporting people with learning disabilities before, during and after their stay in hospital to make it a more positive experience.
Siraaj Nadat, who talked about Death by Indifference 74 Deaths and counting, a progress report 5 years on from Mencap's Death By indifference Report, opened the session. Death by Indifference reported the appalling deaths of six people with a learning disability – deaths that the six families involved and Mencap believe were the result of failings in the NHS. Siraaj focused on the Confidential Enquiry into the premature deaths of people with learning disabilities, the work of which he monitors and evaluates. He also talked about bridging the gap between people with learning disabilities and healthcare professionals, highlighting the importance of Health Facilitation and Acute Liaison:
"It is vital that you develop your learning and understanding and listen to the views of people with learning disabilities within Sandwell. You are all responsible for people's lives and that means you are accountable." (Siraaj Nadat)
It was inspiring to see MPs challenging professionals about their work and holding them to account. The MPs showed real professionalism and really took control of their Parliament, posing questions that needed answers. A wonderful sight to see!
The MPs highlighted the serious breakdown in services around transition for people with learning disabilities. Gilbert Pommel (Interim Commissioner for Learning Disability) was there
Jan Britton (CEO Sandwell Council) concluded the Parliament.
Sandwell People's Parliament will continue to work on the health agenda throughout 2012 to improve the health inequalities of people with learning disabilities.