After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.
Estimates suggest that dysphagia affects 8% of all adults with learning disabilities and that 15% require some form of mealtime support.
Here we report on a study that set out to look at the association between the need for support with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties and the use of primary and secondary healthcare services.[read the full story...]
Adults with Williams syndrome are said to have a highly social personality, but can find it difficult to form and maintain relationships.
Here we report on a recent observational study which compared parent and self-report measures of social behaviour to observations of real life social situations.[read the full story...]
The Directed Enhanced Scheme offers reimbursement to GP surgeries to carry out annual health checks for people with learning disabilities. Here, we report on a cohort study which looked at the impact of the scheme over a three year period.[read the full story...]
This year, for the first time, people with learning disabilities were identified as a clinical risk group in the guidance for flu vaccinations, but a telephone survey carried out by Mencap suggested that many GP surgeries were not offering this free jab.[read the full story...]
As the year draws to a close and we elves gear up for some seasonal duties, we take a look at some of the blogs we have published throughout 2014 and welcome some of our new bloggers.
Also, we will be looking for new contributors in 2015, so look out for more news of that in the new year.[read the full story...]
In the week following the publication of the Bubb report after the appalling scenes uncovered at Winterbourne View, a team in Ireland uncover similar abuses in a care centre in Mayo. Here we look at what they found and the initial response of the authorities there.[read the full story...]
The Bubb report has now been published. It recommends a new commissioning framework for services provided for people with learning disabilities and/or autism who are currently in inappropriate hospital units.
Here we take a look at the recommendations and ask if it is enough to bring about the change that is so clearly needed.[read the full story...]
People with learning disabilities may be at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but often struggle with technical language and complicated explanations. Here we look at a new easy read booklet published as part of an ongoing research project into diabetes people with learning disabilities.[read the full story...]
Following our recent post on what has happened since the publication of the CIPOLD Confidential Inquiry report, we joined a tweet chat hosted by WeLDNurses with two of the report’s authors: Pauline Heslop and Matt Hoghton.
It was a really lively hour with some fantastic contributions. Here we present a summary of the comments with some links to information that was mentioned during the chat itself.[read the full story...]
When choking risk is identified for people with learning disabilities and fluid consistency modification is prescribed, it is critical that staff get the consistency right. Here we report on an efficacy study which looked at whether the use of Thickness Indicator Model tubes as a visual aid in training improved the efficacy of staff training.[read the full story...]