New website for doctors to help provide better care for people with learning disabilities


We have posted many times about the mounting evidence suggesting that people with learning disabilities are often poorly served by healthcare services. The recent Mencap report, “Death by Indifference 74 deaths and counting” drew attention to these continued failings in the NHS.

The General Medical Council has been working to expand and explain its guidance to doctors about supporting people with learning disabilities and has produced a website to assist in this. While we don’t normally post about websites, we thought that readers of WELD might be interested in this site for doctors, the result of the GMC’s work. We have to express an interest at this point, as the WELD team were involved in the project to develop the site, along with colleagues from Minervation and the Rix Centre.

The site is based around a series of scenes created to provide interactive learning opportunities. As the site suggests, the doctors in the scenes do a lot of things badly, but this is to illustrate potential poor practice and to enable users to learn by other people’s mistakes.

The site also identifies a range of issues relating to access to healthcare, provides lots of examples from people with learning disabilities themselves and has links to a range of resources.

Whilst aimed at doctors and designed to expand on GMC guidance, the site could be useful to anybody supporting people to access healthcare services.

Visit the site here: General Medical Council Learning Disabilities

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John Northfield

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.

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