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Making a Difference Toolkit - Background

A new Toolkit to support health professionals supporting people with learning disabilities was launched in Birmingham on December 1st.  Funding was secured from the Health Education West Midlands, Mental Health Institute Learning, Education and Training Council to review the existing Toolkit and develop a revised Toolkit, entitle : Making a difference together: A health toolkit. A project Group at Keele University, led by Professor Sue Read, School of Nursing & Midwifery, developed the Toolkit, working closely with Reach, Asist, and in conjunction with people with a learning disability, parents, advocates, and various health care professionals across the West Midlands. It differs from the original Toolkit in three specific ways, aiming to:

  1. Support professionals working in a range of hospital and community settings, not just hospital environments.
  2.  Help professionals to care for the person with a learning disability who has additional health care needs across the lifespan. Adopting a lifespan approach means that the resources will support people with a learning disability from childhood, through to adulthood, to end-of-life care and beyond to bereavement. 
  3. Respond to previous comments, reports, and wider consultation around contemporary healthcare practice, and has been developed to incorporate three specific themes:

Theme one:        Access to healthcare
Theme two:        Safer healthcare
Theme three:     End of life care
The Toolkit has 40 components, including a range of booklets, leaflets, films, power point presentations, communication pictogram  cards, books on rings and an new app (picTTalk) to facilitate communication around health issues, loss and death and dying.
Following the main launch, a series of five workshops were delivered at different geographical locations across the West Midlands during December 2014 and January 2015, to maximise dissemination. A final launch is planned at Keele University on Wednesday 28th January, 2-4pm .
The Toolkit can be freely accessed from:
Keele university:
West Midlands:

Sue Read said: ‘Support for people with a learning disability receiving health care in a range of settings is crucial. This Toolkit has involved people with a learning disability throughout, and is grounded in the reality of health care practice to ensure it is fit for purpose. Whilst Toolkits can never replace traditional education and training, they can complement existing learning opportunities.’

Photo of Launch
Photo of Launch