Learning difficulties – attitudes must change

biggest challenge facing professionals working with people with learning
difficulties, as well as parents and users, is looking at services from a new
perspective, writes Anabel Unity Sale.

was the claim from Rob Greig, director of King’s College London Community Care
Development Centre, who told delegates at the Learning Disability Today
conference last week that if the Valuing People white paper was going to have
an impact on people’s lives "we all have to do things differently."

who helped write the government’s Valuing People white paper, added that all
those involved with service users had to take ownership of the impending change.

said one way of doing this would be to encourage the families and carers of
people with learning difficulties to change their attitudes about service

have used the language of war, they have talked about battles with services.
Many parents and carers behave in a negative way towards services because they
have had negative experiences with services and so it goes on. It is a vicious
circle," he said.

at the same conference, Vicky Stobbart general manager of the Hounslow and
Spelthorne Community and Mental Health NHS Trust’s learning disability service
said social care providers had an important role in promoting health and
preventing illness among users.

said: "People who see service users everyday are much more likely to see
changes in them. We are not looking for them to make diagnoses but for them to
detect changes in health."

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