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A short film has been produced to highlight the problems people with learning disabilities can face when attending healthcare appointments.

‘The Long and Winding Road’ was written and performed by the Dramatic Change Theatre Company, which is a Gloucestershire based inclusive group of disabled and non-disabled actors.

The film tells the story of a young man with learning disabilities, and his journey to receive his first annual health check at his GP’s surgery.

His fears about what the check involves and how he will get there are played out, demonstrating the reasonable adjustments and clear communication health professionals need to use for patients.

The film was commissioned and produced by ²gether NHS Foundation Trust.

Simon Shorrick, from ²gether’s Health Facilitation Team, said that appointments which many take for granted can seem very daunting for people with a learning disability.

He said: “The Long and Winding Road demonstrates in a dramatic way how someone may feel about going for an appointment when they have no idea what it will involve, how they will get there or what they need to do when they arrive.

“If you have a learning disability you may find it harder to understand information. Reasonable adjustments need to be made to make sure that people don’t feel nervous about going for an appointment which is your right, and is important to your ongoing health and wellbeing.”

Blakeney GP and Learning Disability Champion within Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Martin Gibbs has supported the film’s production.

He said: “I believe the film helps us to see our services, and indeed ourselves, through the  eyes of our patients with a learning disability.”

The film is being shown to healthcare professionals across Gloucestershire, as a way of encouraging them to make reasonable adjustments to ensure people with learning disabilities have equal access to services.

Adjustments which can be made for people with learning disabilities include:

· Ensuring the patient is seen promptly and does not need to queue or wait
· Providing information in ‘easy read’ format
· Finding out the patient’s needs in advance and meeting those needs where possible

To view the film, click here.

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