The purpose of this paper is to outline a two-year project designed to reduce health inequalities and improve health outcomes of people with intellectual disabilities using health services in South London by raising awareness and increasing health staff confidence and capability.
The project was conducted in two stages. In stage 1, a mapping exercise was undertaken to establish existing intellectual disabilities education and training availability. In stage 2, a network of stakeholders was formed and education and training materials were developed and delivered.
A formal evaluation of the project is underway and this paper seeks to share information about the project. That said prima facie data appear to indicate that health staff who attended education and training events learned new knowledge and skills that they could implement in their practice, increasing confidence and capability.
Health staff who attended the events appeared to have an interest in intellectual disabilities and wanted to increase their knowledge and skills base. This means that there is a significant group of health staff that the project was unable to reach or who may not know that they need to know about intellectual disabilities. The results of the project have not yet been formally analysed.
Work-based education and training events can have a positive impact on health staff capability and confidence, however, it would appear that only those who already have an interest in the field or recognise its value to their own practice attend such events. To truly capture all health staff intellectual disabilities needs to be visibly included in all health curricula.
This project has not focussed on one profession or one aspect of healthcare and has embraced the values of inter professional and inter agency learning; this has enabled health staff to learn from each other and think in a “joined up” way replicating the realities of providing healthcare to people with intellectual disabilities.
Funding: this was a two year Project that was funded by Health Education South London and King’s Health Partners.
The author would like to thank the local learning disability services, the Estia Centre, family carers and service users, Maudsley Simulation, the Baked Bean Theatre Company and King's Health Partners’ Education Academy for their contributions and support to the Project.
Marshall-Tate, K. (2016), "Enhancing clinical practice: reducing health inequalities – reflections on a clinical education and training partnership", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 10 No. 6, pp. 342-348. https://doi.org/10.1108/AMHID-10-2016-0029
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