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Inspiring People Awards win is a lifesaver

This year’s Inspiring People ‘Overall Winner’ award went to Carley Ford, in recognition of her commitment and determination to get the right medical treatment for a person we support. This included seeking alternative medical advice until the right level of commitment was provided, the correct diagnosis achieved; and a happy post note of the story is it the person we support successfully underwent surgery.

Inspiring People award winner Carley

Support Worker Carley said: “One of the people I support is Hilary. I have supported her for four years, so as you can imagine I know her very well.

“At the beginning of 2017 I noticed a change in her which I believed was due to pain – it also mimicked past behaviours from a similar problem.

“Firstly, we booked a GP appointment to discuss things through with them, which was not very useful and Hilary was refused a referral for an x-ray (we requested this).

“As we had previously had problems with the doctors at this surgery not listening to support staff regarding people we support, I changed the surgery on her behalf with hope she would get a GP that would listen.

“Once registered at a new surgery, I supported her to another appointment to again discuss the problem and impact it was having on her daily life.

“Finally, the staff listened and she was given a referral for an x-ray. This confirmed what myself, the team and Hilary’s family members had suspected from the beginning of 2017.

“She is now six weeks post operation and doing brilliantly – most importantly she is no longer in pain.”

Asked how it feels to be recognised as an Inspiring Person for her work with Hilary, Carley said: “It feels great to have won the award! However, I was just doing my job and there were so many other brilliant stories that were shared.

“Medical professionals should definitely accommodate the opinions of people with learning disabilities and/or autism to a greater extent.

“Whether or not they require support, their opinions hold equal weight to any of our opinions, so adequate measures should be put in place to understand their wishes.

“Understandably, this can be difficult in certain cases, as evidenced by Hilary who is unable to always voice her concerns to professionals whom she does not know well.

“This problem can be partially rectified by asking support workers, family, or those closest to the person with whom they have developed a bond of trust. This can help to build a clearer picture of what the person desires and can provide mediation between medical professionals and the person with learning disabilities and/or autism.”

Carley’s story serves as a shining example of what can be achieved when proper adjustments are made in primary care for people with learning disabilities and/ or autism.

Here is some more information on our #MyGPandMe campaign for equality in primary care. You can catch up on what we have done so far, how many surgeries have signed up for specialist training and share this post to show your support!

Other winners on the night

This year’s Inspiring People Awards ceremony was celebrated with a fantastic night at West Midland Safari Park. The South West was represented by a number of people we support and staff from services that really have gone the extra mile during the last 12 months.

Some other winners included:

Staff from Trinity House, who raised £1500 via a fancy dress sponsored walk. It was a tremendous effort and the money has been put to good use to improve the environment for the people we support.

Staff from Fountain House Annex were rightly lauded for their excellent work in resettling a person we support into a new environment, in the process improving his ability to participate in community activities and achieving a significant reduction in prescribed medication.

Here is some more information on the #STOMP campaign to stop the over medication of people with learning disabilities and autism.

Staff from Malmesbury were heralded by local authority staff for the way they took over a unique service, whereby they care for two people who still live with their adoptive mother.

Staff at the Limes were recognised for their commitment to putting in place a new service that met the bespoke needs of a young woman who is new to our services.