The Champions' work
People with a learning disability have worse physical and mental health than people without a learning disability. On average, the life expectancy of women with a learning disability is 18 years shorter than for women in the general population, and the life expectancy of men with a learning disability is 14 years shorter than for men in the general population.
We want people with learning disabilities in West Yorkshire and Harrogate to receive the best possible care. We also want people with learning disabilities to feel supported to have their say as they are the experts when it comes to knowing what help, support and personalised care they need.
Our Health and Care Champions project brings the expertise and lived experience of people with learning disabilities into the heart of our programme work, enabling us to benefit from their advice and recommendations. The Champions have produced a suite of materials that support our work across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, including items that are helping people with Learning Disabilities manage their health during the coronavirus outbreak. You can browse these assets here.
We welcome new recruits to the group - contact email@example.com for more information on how to become a champion.
Here are some videos about cancer screening that the Champions have made accessible to people with learning disabilities.
Tanya talks about cancer screening
Parveen talks about Cervical cancer screening
Sue talks about cancer screening
Laura talks about cancer Screening
Ralph talks about bowel cancer screening
Mushtaq talks about bowel cancer screening
Molly talks about bowel cancer screening
You can read booklets for people with learning disabilities about Breast Screening and about Cervical Screening. Both booklets have audio too.
You can find out more about the work of the Champions in this latest report (May 2021)
Co-lead for the Health and Care Champions Project Kelly Hartley has provided a video recording of what the Champions have told us about Professional Boundaries in the Workplace. You can watch the video here.
- Health and Care Champions presentation April 2021
- Health and Care Champions project report 2020
- Health and care Learning Disability Champions - what we want to do
- Some of the work Bradford Talking Media (BTM) and our Health and Care Champions have done with us
- Case study - our Health and Care Champions
- Mental Health explainer by the Champions
- Why it's important for people with Learning Disabilities to make their own decisions - film
The Champions have recently been discussing their views, experiences and concerns about the Covid19 vaccine.
What we are doing
We are working with people with learning disabilities so they can become health and care champions for our Partnership, including for priority programmes such as cancer, mental health, maternity care and hospitals working together. These health and care champions will work with us and the wider community of people with learning disabilities to further develop our plans and put them into action. We will do this by involving them in future conversations about improvement and asking them about their experience of care for people with learning disabilities. This is an approach supported by councils and NHS organisations.
Working with an organisation called Bradford Talking Media (BTM), we have set up a team of health and care champions with learning disabilities from communities across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. Their involvement is helping us to become better informed about their experiences of using health and care services so we can improve the way we plan services. This commitment to involvement extends to the funding of a part-time project worker with learning disabilities, a position recently taken up by Kelly Hartley. Here's some more information about Kelly:
My name is Kelly Hartley, and I am 21 years old. My job role is a Learning Disability and Autism Health and Care Champions Development Coordinator. I started in February 2021 and I am here to help advocate for people with disabilities by teaming up with other people with disabilities to help change and adapt hospitals to their needs.
I work with my colleague Hara to find different ways to communicate with people with disabilities and help build and deliver training for people that work within hospital trusts. The part of the job that I enjoy most is research and sharing what I learned; by talking to people I can show understanding in different conditions and I also enjoy the responsibility.
The most recent projects I have been asked to do is to do presentations and interactive activities about Coronavirus, Vaccines and Diabetes.
I was most nervous about how to talk to people with disabilities to be able to show understanding and adapt to others needs. However I am doing my best and have even come up with ideas like a quiz on Diabetes which all the members enjoyed.
The way I work with Hara is to update and speak with her everyday to discuss feedback and future adaptation for future projects.