Learning disability training for Newry hospital staff

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Monday, October 7th, 2019

Staff from Daisy Hill and Craigavon Area hospitals have participated in a morning of learning disability awareness training.

The training was organised as part of the Southern Trust’s drive to improve the experience of people with a learning disability and their carers whilst in hospital. 

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Nursing, medical, social work and pharmacy staff along with a number of allied health professionals, took part in the session to increase their awareness of how to better meet the needs of people with a learning disability whilst in their care.



Specialists from the Trust’s Learning Disability Team shared their expertise with hospital colleagues; a carer gave their perspective of bringing an adult with a learning disability to hospital.

The training also included guidance relating to issues which affect adults with a learning disability such as pain management and communication; understanding the role of the family and carers; and the importance of the ‘Regional Hospital Passport for Adults with a Learning Disability.’ 

Dr Freda McCormick, Research Fellow from Queens University, School of Nursing and Midwifery also updated participants on a forthcoming study on the hospital passport.

Staff were also treated to a lovely performance by the Makaton Choir – a group of adults with a learning disability who use Makaton sign language to help them communicate.   



Sinead Hughes, Promoting Wellbeing Specialist Lead who organised the training for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said, “We want to make sure that everyone using our services receives the best possible care and recognise that in many cases, some very simple adjustments such as better communication, taking a little extra time to give clear information, can make a huge difference to the experience of a person with a learning disability and their carers.” 

Trudy Reid, Interim Assistant Director Corporate Clinical and  Social Care Governance for the Southern said, “We have a great team of compassionate professionals throughout our hospitals and are delighted that so many staff attended today’s training to help build their confidence and continue to improve their practice in caring for people with a learning disability.”



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