Lexden Physical Health Clinic – making a difference…
15 Feb 22
HPFT has long championed supporting the physical care needs of service users. In 2021, the Trust opened a dedicated clinic at Lexden Hospital in Colchester to support people with learning disabilities to manage their physical healthy and improve their health outcomes. The clinic was developed by Dr Indermeet Sawhney, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director of Learning Disability Services for Essex Learning Disability services and her team.
Since May 2021, over 220 service users who are taking psychotropic medication have been reviewed at the clinic, with each person receiving a comprehensive, proactive health screening and structured physical health assessment. As a result, many examples of unmet physical health needs have been identified and service users have received targeted health interventions. These include:
- Identifying heart conditions, hypertension and suspected cancer
- Supporting service users to overcome their fears around having diagnostic tests and enabling them to have blood samples, ECGs and cervical screening - some of them for the first time in their adult lives
- Enabling shared decision making with service users, helping them and their families and carers feel listened to and involved in ongoing care planning
- Service users receive an easy-read version of a jointly developed health action plan to help with issues such as weight management
- Providing reasonable adjustments, including home visits for service users who cannot attend the clinic, longer and/or multiple appointments to help people overcome fears about physical examinations and general health in easy read formats
The clinic team have been gathering feedback from service users, families and caers, with very positive results. 113 service users were asked “Thinking about the service we provide, overall how was your experience of the service?” 83 per cent said ‘very good’ with 14 per cent answering ‘good’.
People taking part in the survey were also able to provide additional comments and feedback. Comments included:
- “Very welcoming and kind people talked to service user in a very pleasant and understanding way.”
- “I had a good check over; glad I did as they found a lump in my breast.”
- “I feel safe here.”
- “Exceptional team looking after him, used his puppet to show him what would happen and went at his own pace.”
- “Great service for learning disabilities.”
- “First time we have ever managed to get bloods done. Showed dignity & respect.”
- “Never have I experienced such understanding compassion of my son. The team are over 100% and I so appreciate the time and effort that the staff give to the young person.”
- “To see such a fantastic team get my young person to have a full set of health checks, I could not have wished for a fabulous team.”
- “Very kind team for nervous patient.”
- “Very friendly and patient. Excellent communications over all made the whole experience better, less stressful and informative as a carer it’s great to bring the client for a positive experience.”
- “Excellent service and the first time the service user had fully cooperated with a health check.”
Dr Indermeet Sawhney said: "We know that physical health is just as important as mental health. We are delighted to hear that the Lexden Physical Health clinic is having such a positive impact on the overall health and wellbeing of our service users."
For more information about the physical health clinic, contact the team using the details on the referral information page.