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Dedicated learning disabilities conference for Jersey

23 October 2015

Learning Disabilities will be the focus of a day-long conference to be held at the Hospital’s education centre on Monday 26 October.

It is the first time that the topic has had a day dedicated to it at a conference run by Health and Social Services in conjunction with the Royal College of Nursing.

UK specialists and academics who work in the field of learning disabilities will be attending the conference which is called ‘The Healthcare Needs of Individuals with Learning Disabilities’.

It has been organised by senior lecturer Martin McMahon, who is part of the nursing and midwifery education team at HSSD and Kenny McNeil from the Jersey branch of the Royal College of Nursing.

The conference, which is fully booked, is open for all health and social care staff who want to learn more about working with people with learning disabilities who use Jersey’s health and social care services. There will also be a perspective from a service user whose family member has learning disabilities.

As part of its commitment to working with islanders who have learning disabilities and ensuring they understand why they might need to be in hospital or at an appointment, Health and Social Services has recently appointed a dedicated hospital liaison nurse for people with learning disabilities, Claire Parfett.

Keynote speakers at the conference

  • Professor Michael Brown, Nurse Consultant, at NHS Lothian and Professor of Health and Social Care Research, and Chair of the Learning Disability Nursing Forum speaking on: ‘The Health Needs of Individuals with Learning Disabilities'
  • Dr Keith Bowden, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Head of the Learning Disability Psychology service in NHS Forth Valley speaking on: ‘The contribution of health professionals to prevention of abuse - some reflections from Scotland’
  • Dr Martin Campbell, Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology and Pro-Dean of Science (Curriculum) for the University of St Andrews, Scotland speaking on: ‘Challenging behaviour and staff training – Who needs it?’

Martin McMahon said: “This is such an important conference and has been well received by our staff. In recent decades there have been remarkable changes in the provision of healthcare services for individuals with learning disabilities. We are always striving to provide health and social care services which are ‘person-centred’ and inclusive, irrespective of disability.

“Standards of care are always improving, and the fact the conference is fully booked shows how keen our staff are to learn about the best way of working with this important client group. We are committed to getting things right and making sure that people with learning disabilities receive healthcare that is the same for everyone.”

The conference delegates will be welcomed by the Minister for Health and Social Services, Senator Andrew Green, and Jersey’s Chief Nurse, Rose Naylor.

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