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Making GP surgeries more accessible
People with learning disabilities are five times more likely to end up in hospital for preventable issues that can be treated by their GP.
Dimensions have launched a campaign called #MyGPandMe to make doctors’ surgeries more accessible for people with learning disabilities or autism.
They found that almost a third of people with learning disabilities or autism feel less likely to be treated with care and concern at the doctors, and two thirds said their GP did not make reasonable adjustments for them.
Almost all GPs that Dimensions surveyed said they would like extra training in these areas.
In our work, we have found that simple things can go a long way. Here is our advice for GPs treating people with learning disabilities.
Take the time to get to know somebody. Getting to know your patients will help you to know what is normal and what isn’t – especially useful if they have limited verbal communication.
Explain things in a way that you know they have understood. This might mean asking them to explain it back to you.
Provide information about health in an easy read format.
Remember that people are people! Treat somebody how you would like to be treated, talk to them and not their carer, and focus on the person and not their conditions.
Make reasonable adjustments, such as longer appointment times for those who need it. If you need some help with this, you could get training from Dimensions and or a local self-advocacy or family carer organisation.
You can find our more about #MyGPandMe here: https://www.dimensions-uk.org/get-involved/campaigns/make-gps-accessible-mygpandme
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