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Supporting people with learning disabilities

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We’re proud to the NHS’ first health play specialist for people with learning disabilities.

Health play specialists work with children and young people with learning disabilities, using their expertise to help reduce the fear and anxiety of hospital treatment through play and distraction.  

Patients with learning disabilities often have difficulties communicating, understanding information and learning new skills into adulthood; in a hospital environment, there is a continued need for the expertise and skills a health play specialist can offer.  However, when patients turn 25, they automatically transition to adult services, where health play specialists are not part of the care team. 

In a trailblazing initiative we are part funding the first dedicated health play specialist for people with learning disabilities.  Deborah, appointed to the role says:

“By communicating with patients on a level appropriate to their individual needs and offering emotional and psychological support through any potential frightening or painful procedures, the patient, their carers and staff will have a more positive experience throughout their hospital journey”.

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