Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Patients with learning disabilities become ‘invisible’ in hospitals, says study

Patients with learning disabilities become ‘invisible’ in hospitals, says study.

From the 17th January 2014 ScienceDaily article

Hospital patients with learning disabilities face longer waits and mismanaged treatment due to a failure to understand them by nursing staff, says a new report.

In one case, a patient who had problems making herself understood was accused of being drunk by hard pressed hospital staff.

It is estimated that one in 50 people in England have some form of learning disabilities such as Down’s syndrome.

Dr Irene Tuffrey-Wijne, senior research fellow in nursing at St George’s, University of London and Kingston University, said: “People with learning disabilities are largely invisible within the hospitals, which meant that their additional needs are not recognised or understood by staff.

“Our study found many examples of good practice, but also many examples where the safety of people with learning disabilities in hospitals was at risk.”

Dr Tuffrey-Wijne, a co-author of the study who works at the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, a partnership between the two universities, added: “The most common safety issues were delays and omissions of care and treatment.

“Some examples come down to basic nursing care like providing enough nutrition but other serious consequences were also seen in our study.

It found that the main barrier to better and safer care was a lack of effective flagging systems, leading to a failure to identify patients with learning disabilities in the first place.

 

Read entire article here

 

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January 21, 2014 - Posted by | health care | , , , , ,

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