UK – NEAS launches new resource to support patients with learning disabilities

The North East Ambulance Service has launched a new resource to support patients with learning disabilities.

A new online resource is now available on the Trust’s website, giving people the information in an easy read format that will help them to choose which emergency service they require, be it  NHS111 or 999.

Public Health England has stated that 40% of people with a learning disability reported having difficulty using health services.  People with learning disabilities are two and a half times more likely to have health problems than other people and therefore many of the patients that staff provide aid to often have barriers to communication during triage and treatment. (Equal Treatment: Closing the Gap).

Engagement manager at the Trust, Mark Johns, explained why there was a need to develop information for different people who use the service.  He said, “We know from patient feedback and surveys that people with learning disabilities find it harder to access and communicate with our service.

Information about how to use our services should be readily available to all members of the public, including people with learning disabilities, and we wanted to make sure that we tailored the information so that it’s accessible to people who need it in a different format.”

The NEAS learning disability zone has been created to reduce barriers to communication for people with learning disabilities to optimise patient experience and quality of care.  The information is presented an illustrative form of what to do in an emergency, including a section of what to expect inside an ambulance with pictures and basic descriptions of the equipment in the vehicle.

A user led project group was set up with a community group which supports people with learning disabilities to understand the obstacles individuals face and to help design new guidance on how to access emergency assistance.

Stephen Mckay Guidepost day centre officer said, “We support a diverse group of individuals with a wide range of learning disabilities and it’s encouraging to see this work has taken into consideration the varied capacity and needs of these individuals and the end product speaks for itself. So many places create resources for people with learning disabilities without meaningful engagement with them.

“It’s great that the group have been so heavily involved in creating this zone and actually really listened to. NEAS has broken down the barriers that people with learning disabilities can face when it comes to accessing the right healthcare services and developed a resource we think will help support others to understand the services they offer.”

Mark continues “The project group explained their fears about being inside an ambulance and calling 999 so we’ve tried to allay their fears with more information about what happens once calling us and once on board an ambulance. We hope this new resource gives confidence to people when they come across and need our emergency services. For NEAS, it means that our call handlers will be aware of what to expect when arranging the appropriate help for the person in need, making the experience less stressful for all concerned.”

NEAS also arranged for the project group to meet a paramedic who showed them around the inside of an ambulance and encouraged them to experience sitting on the stretcher and wearing an oxygen mask, should it ever happen to them in the future.

Carol who was one of the participants in the project group said, “I was terrified of the mask, that’s why I asked to have a go.  Now I won’t be scared if I needed to ever use it in real life. I hope when people see my picture they won’t feel scared too. The North East Ambulance Service’s website is really good and I’m glad I got to tell the paramedics and other staff what I wanted to know.”

Paul, who was another participant in the project group said, “The new NEAS website page is really good and I really like that NEAS listened to me and I will show other people so they can learn how to get help too.”

You can find out more about the disability learning zone by following this link: /patient-info/learning-disability-zone.aspx

Guidance on Reception Conditions for Unaccompanied Children: Operational Standards and Indicators

Guidance on Reception Conditions for Unaccompanied Children: Operational Standards and Indicators

Source:European Union, European Asylum Support Office (EASO)

Date Published: 12/2018

Format: PDF

Annotation: This 82-page document was developed to support Member States in the implementation of key provisions of the Reception Conditions Directive, ensuring an adequate standard of living for unaccompanied children and taking into account their special reception needs. It describes the reception conditions of unaccompanied children as a particular vulnerable group, with chapters addressing their special needs, healthcare, and education.

URL:https://www.easo.europa.eu/news-events/new-easo-guidance-reception-conditions-unaccompanied-children

Study – Interorganizational Coordination and a Vulnerable Population during Hurricane Irma in 2017: A Qualitative Case Study on Joint Efforts for Undocumented Immigrant Disaster Safety

Interorganizational Coordination and a Vulnerable Population during Hurricane Irma in 2017: A Qualitative Case Study on Joint Efforts for Undocumented Immigrant Disaster Safety

Source:University of Colorado at Boulder, Natural Hazards Center

Date Published: 2018

Format: Text

Annotation: This qualitative case study aims to gain a greater understanding of the interorganizational coordination that assisted undocumented immigrants in South Apopka, Florida, during and immediately after Hurricane Irma in 2017. It discusses the study’s central themes and suggests policy strategies to encourage community coordination to protect the lives of vulnerable people from institutional blindness in disasters.

URL:https://hazards.colorado.edu/quick-response-report/interorganizational-coordination-and-a-vulnerable-population-during-hurricane-irma-in-2017

Report – Social Vulnerability and the Role of Puerto Rico’s Healthcare Workers After Hurricane Maria

Social Vulnerability and the Role of Puerto Rico’s Healthcare Workers After Hurricane Maria

Source:University of Colorado at Boulder, Natural Hazards Center

Date Published: 6/2018

Format: Text

Annotation: This report summarizes a study that used interview and observation data with healthcare workers across Puerto Rico to better understand what kind of impacts Hurricane Maria had on people’s health, and who was most impacted. It sought to understand how healthcare workers responded to the crisis in order to reach communities in need. It highlights how and why people with chronic health conditions, those who were economically disadvantaged, rural populations, and older populations were particularly vulnerable to the health impacts of the storm and massive, extended disruptions to key infrastructure.

URL:https://hazards.colorado.edu/quick-response-report/social-vulnerability-and-the-role-of-puerto-ricos-healthcare-workers-after-hurricane-maria