Training GPs about health checks in Oxford

I am a learning disability and a learning disability is me. That doesn’t mean we’re all the same.

Oxford self-advocacy group, My Life My Choice run workshops to explain to GPs how important annual health checks are for people with a learning disability.

They hold sessions with GPs to explain how making small changes – called reasonable adjustments – can make annual health checks work better for people.  They ask the GPs not to use difficult words, and ask them to talk to the person themselves, not the person they’re with. They also show a film of members of My Life, My Choice talking about their annual health check.

The people doing the training present to nursing students at Oxford Brookes University about how to communicate with people with a learning disability.

They also hold sessions with people with a learning disability, autism or both about how important it is to go for their annual health check. They give advice on what questions to ask – things like what medication they are on and what it is for.

Andy likes getting paid to train GPs: “We’ve got a voice and we’re speaking out on what disability means.”

By running the sessions, Dawn has grown in confidence: “When I did the training I felt nervous at first because I get tongue tied, but I did it!”

These sessions help GPs and student nurses to look beyond a person’s disability. Dawn says: “I am a learning disability and a learning disability is me. That doesn’t mean we’re all the same.”

Contact: Jess Tilling, jt@mylifemychoice.org.uk