The Big Question

Shaun Webster – Change self- advocacy group
When you go to the doctor you always feel rushed. They don’t make it easy to understand when they talk about your medication. There’s a risk you could take the wrong medication or the wrong dosage. I had to keep reminding my last doctor that I had a learning difficulty and he’d have to repeat himself. That upset me.

Len Smith – Gypsy activist
I saw a doctor’s receptionist ask a carer and her charge, who had control problems with his limbs and a speech defect, to sit in a corridor away from the waiting room. A woman had complained that her child was frightened, although I saw nothing aggressive.  If this kind of discrimination is common in the health service, that is unfair. 

Joan Scott – Inspired Services
No. Health professionals don’t listen enough. Doctors should spend more time listening and less time making decisions on our behalf. I’ve met many professionals who’d rather talk to the carers. Nurses and doctors should be trained in listening and understanding and there should be a person with a learning difficulty involved in that training.

Jaya Kathrecha – Carer
Service users are often isolated.  I heard recently about someone who was told they could live independently and the next thing was that they committed suicide. GPs pass the buck to community mental health teams and have little knowledge of things such as housing and benefits which would help with rehabilitation and recovery.

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