Learning disabilities: ‘rhetoric into reality’

Pogson, D., Lockyer, T.K. and Humphrys, K. (2009) Learning disabilities: ‘rhetoric into reality’ At Public Health SIG [Special Interest Group]. 26 Jun 2009.


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The concerns of policy, practice and research have shifted from the “deinstitutionalisation” of the few to a contemporary focus upon the social exclusion faced by the whole learning disability population. As part of the developing understanding of the relationship between social exclusion and health, the 1990s saw emerging evidence of unmet health needs (Turner & Moss, 1996; Lennox & Kerr, 1997). Today, firmly embedded within the “Public Health” agenda, the evidence of health inequalities is incontrovertible- that despite having additional health needs, the health of this population is poorer compared with that of the general population. A series of damning reports have revealed the extent, finding “some appalling examples of discrimination, abuse and neglect across the range of health services” (DRC; 2006; Healthcare Commission, 2007; Mencap, 2007; Michael, 2008).
A plethora of policy and ‘good practice’ guidance provides fundamental principles of sound service provision (Lindsey, 1998; Darzi, 2008; DH, 2001, 2007a, 2007b, 2007c, 2009). These, along with others, provide the mandates for ameliorating the health inequalities confronting people with learning disabilities, for the necessary reorganisation of health service provision and changes to professional practice. The challenge remains - to turn “rhetoric” into reality- for a real difference to be made.
Educating health care practitioners about health inequalities is paramount to improving the quality of health care; of fundamental importance is the consideration of what actually occurs during day-to-day interactions between health care professionals and patients/clients (Michael, 2008).
This presentation explores the health inequalities education of student nurses over the last decade within one HEI, in order to consider how in future, nurses’ practice can best be developed to deliver real changes for people with learning disabilities. We will consider a move towards a more “action-based approach”, with consideration of the “how” - how can anti-discriminatory practice be “taught” to large cohorts, utilising innovative approaches

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Venue - Dates: Public Health SIG [Special Interest Group], 2009-06-26 - 2009-06-26
ePrint ID: 72269
Date :
Date Event
26 June 2009Published
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2010
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 20:56
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/72269

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