As one of the country’s largest not-for-profit organisations supporting people with autism and learning disabilities, we experience the difficulties they face accessing good healthcare every day. In some ways those people who receive paid support are fortunate; far too many people with learning disabilities and autistic people have no-one to speak up for them.
We urge policymakers to act on “Panorama: Will the NHS Care for Me?” It is simply unacceptable that people with a learning disability are more than twice as likely to die from avoidable causes compared to the rest of the population when the Equality Act requires health providers to make reasonable adjustments for those that need them.
It’s not just about policymaking; healthcare practitioners can make a real difference to their patients by making a simple set of changes. Dimensions’ #MyGPandMe campaign aims to make primary care fair for people who have a learning disability and autism. Our free training and guidance helps GPs and surgery staff understand the ways they can make their practices more accessible and inclusive for patients, driven by our previous research underlying these inequalities.
Rachael Dodgson, CEO