Celebrating Learning Disability Week 2020

Categories: School of Health and Society

As the NHS continues to manage the impact of the coronavirus, University of Salford students are at the heart of the health care response.

Nicola Evans

Nicola Evans (pictured), one of our final year Learning Disability Nursing students, spoke to us for Learning Disability Week (15-21 June) about her experiences whilst on placement.

Nicola said: “I didn’t expect to be experiencing my final 100-day placement through a global pandemic. Coronavirus has challenged services to adapt the ways in which they work, and I’ve seen first-hand the positive changes that have taken place for our work with people with learning disabilities.

“During the crisis, I’ve been able to connect with service users and their families/carers over the telephone. I worked my way through a list of people waiting to be seen by our learning disability nursing team, completing welfare check calls to ensure they were well, to check that they and those they live with hadn’t had any symptoms and to see if they needed any urgent support.

"Everyone I spoke to was so pleased to hear that they had somewhere they could turn for help if they needed it.

“I have also been able to complete dementia (DLD) assessments over the telephone, as well as risk assessments for those service users who required a face to face visit. These risk assessments ensured we followed government guidelines, wearing all PPE and keeping two metres apart, in order to complete those face to face meetings which were absolutely necessary.

“There was also an opportunity to send easy-to-read information to service users and their carers to support them in their understanding of coronavirus. I even developed some information leaflets myself to help the service users I have been supporting.

"One lady I supported was frequently attending A&E with symptoms she didn't really need to go to A&E for. I created two easy read documents to help her to identify services where she could still access support without the risks of attending A&E. This is especially important during the pandemic with the possible risk of her catching Covid-19 by attending A&E unnecessarily.”

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