NHS Gloucestershire has signed up to Mencap’s Getting It Right charter to show their commitment to ensuring that people with a learning disability get the healthcare they have a right to.

Getting It Right was the focus of this year’s Learning Disability Week and called on health professionals to commit to a charter that will help make real changes and save lives.

NHS Gloucestershire, in partnership with GPs and other NHS organisations in Gloucestershire, has already implemented measures to ensure people with learning disabilities get access to quality healthcare in the county and that those treating them make reasonable adjustments to ensure quality of care.

Initiatives have included: annual health checks for most people with learning disabilities at their local GP practices; the trial of two liaison nurses to assist those admitted to the county’s two main hospitals; a group set up to help all NHS services provide information in an easy to read format; developing a talking website to provide easy to understand information to people with learning disabilities, carers and professionals; teaching sessions for staff in GP surgeries and hospitals on how to work better with people with learning disabilities; and working to develop patient satisfaction questionnaires tailored to people with learning disabilities.

Kevin Elliott, joint commissioning lead for services for people with learning disabilities at NHS Gloucestershire, said: “We believe that if we can get health services right for people with learning disabilities we can get it right for all.”

Jan Stubbings, chief executive of NHS Gloucestershire, said: “NHS Gloucestershire is committed to providing quality healthcare to every individual in Gloucestershire.

“We share Mencap’s belief that people with learning disabilities should expect to receive high standards of care and that our healthcare professionals should value patients with learning disabilities, making suitable adjusts in how treatment is provided where necessary. We are pleased to adopt the Getting It Right charter.”

David Congdon, Mencap’s head of campaigns and policy, said: “Our charter sets out a standard of practice and will make health trusts accountable to people with a learning disability, their families and carers. We welcome NHS Gloucestershire's commitment to constantly strive to uphold these standards and help end indifference in the NHS.”

For more information on the Getting It Right campaign and charter, and to show your support, www.mencap.org.uk/gettingitright