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Learning Disability Liaison Team

Steven Reynolds, Hospital Liaison Nurse and Nick Furmidge, Liaison Assistant Practitioner support adults with a learning disability who access St Marys Hospital and acute mental health services.

We support people with a learning disability who are coming into hospital and ensure they are not discriminated against due to their disability. We are also here to improve services for patients with a learning disability so they find it easier to access our hospital, to raise awareness about the needs of people with a learning disability and to ensure we are implementing reasonable adjustments. Read more

LD Liaison Team

What are reasonable adjustments?

Reasonable adjustments are a legal requirement under the Disability Discrimination Act (2005) and the Equality Act (2010) to ensure that organisations are making services accessible for people with a disability. Examples of reasonable adjustments include allowing family to visit outside of normal visiting hours or overnight, using communication aids, asking for the patient’s hospital passport (My Life a Full Life) or offering them a blank one if they don’t have one, offering double appointment slots and offering first or last appointments of the day to minimise the distress of waiting in a busy noisy environment.

Tell us more about the hospital passport?

The hospital passport is designed to give hospital staff helpful information that isn't only about illness and health.

Your passport can include lists of what you like or dislike. This might be about the amount of physical contact you're ok with, to your favourite type of drink, as well as your interests.

The passport helps all the hospital staff know how to make you feel comfortable. If you go into hospital, your hospital passport should go with you. The passport tells the doctors and nurses that they should make a copy and put the copy in your hospital notes.

If you are going to be an in-patient, and stay in the hospital overnight, your hospital passport should hang on the end of your bed so that anyone treating you can take a look at it.

Click here to get a hospital passport

How can staff improve the care of patients with a learning disability?

Check the patient has a hospital passport and read it. If they do not, offer them one and ask someone who knows them well to support them to fill it out.

  • Inform the LD Liaison Team of any appointments or admissions.
  • Beware of jargon – use simple language. See Easy read Leaflets
  • Check capacity and apply for an independent mental capacity advocate if there is no next of kin/only paid carer involved.
  • Many people with a learning disability live in supported living accommodation – not in residential or nursing care. This means they live in their own flats with a care package which may take time to get restarted. It is very important to plan discharge carefully – a meeting may be required if there are changes in the patient’s needs.

Healthcare for all: Protocol for adult patients with a learning disability in the acute hospital

Mencap ‘Getting it right’

The Trust supports the Mencap ‘Getting it right charter’. This means all people with a learning disability should have a hospital passport. The passport explains how the patient indicates pain, what support they need, any allergies and other important information. It is vital that all staff working with the patient read the passport and disseminate the information appropriately so they all understand the needs of the patient.

What should staff know about the Mental Capacity Act (MCA)?

The MCA is designed to protect and empower individuals who may lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions about their care and treatment. No one can consent on behalf of another adult over the age of 18. If someone is unable to consent to treatment, their capacity should be assessed and the assessment recorded on the MCA form and a copy kept in their notes. It is a legal requirement that all clinicians have an understanding about the MCA and how it is implemented in practice.

How to contact the liaison team?

If you see us around the hospital please feel free to ask us for any advice.

The service operates Monday-Friday, 8.00am - 4.00pm.

To refer to the LD Liaison team please contact:


St Marys 01983 822099 ext. 5478 or call 07795 121674.




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