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Celebrating our Health Access Champions for Learning Disability Week

18 Jun 24

For Learning Disability Week, we are celebrating our Health Access Champions and finding out more about their role in improving HPFT’s services.

Health Access Champions are individuals with learning disabilities who work for the Trust. Their job is focussed on helping to promote the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities in our communities. They have a key role in helping to break down the barriers people may face when accessing care.


Making Services Better group

The Making Services Better group is chaired by the Health Access Champions and attended by staff such as senior nurses, therapists, psychologists and managers, all working in partnership to improve the experience of care and outcomes for those who use our services.

The Health Access Champions use their knowledge about accessibility issues and provide excellent advice and suggestions to colleagues across the Trust. They recently helped the Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy teams develop a falls exercise library. This involved producing easy-to-understand videos for service users with learning disabilities showing them how to do strength and balance exercises.

A physiotherapist supporting a service user with a stepping exercise

Matthew Howes, Physiotherapy Team Lead, said:

“Working alongside our Health Access Champions in creating our falls exercise library enables our service users to watch exercises being completed by someone with a learning disability, and hopefully encourages them that they can do it too! It helped us ensure that we provided instructions that could be understood and followed by our service users and carers.”


Driving Continuous Quality Improvement

The Health Access Champions have now completed their Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Leaders training at the Trust. This training helps give skills and knowledge to those who are passionate about helping to make further improvements in our services.

Three Health Access Champions holding certificates. Alex, who is part of Practice Governance, is standing with them.

Helen, a Health Access Champion working in Buckinghamshire, is already using her new CQI skills within a Trust project looking at menstruation and the menopause.

Helen explains:

“It has been a privilege to work on this project as it is really important for me. The project is for service users who are experiencing symptoms of menstruation/menopause, so that clinicians can offer good support for treatments. We have done multiple choice surveys and asked people for their opinions on how we can support them. We are looking to create talking mats with pictures that show the symptoms of menstruation and menopause to help people”.

The Health Access Champions are also now co-developing and co-delivering the CQI Leaders training to other Trust staff, helping ensure that the training is fully accessible for all.


Celebrating Learning Disability Week

The Health Access Champions will be out and about this week helping to celebrate Learning Disability Week.

Mark, a Health Access Champion in North Herts, will be supporting a service showcase event at our Trust Head Offices and Helen will be performing with her theatre group, Jigsaw, as well as helping on a craft stall in Aylesbury, sharing her card making skills and encouraging others to have a go too.


If you would like to learn more, please visit this link: https://www.hpft.nhs.uk/services/learning-disability-services/hertfordshire/information-for-people-who-use-our-services-their-families-and-carers/

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