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MPs attend parliamentary event on health equality for people with learning disabilities and autism

Yesterday Dimensions held a parliamentary event in the House of Commons, exploring ways to improve health equality for people with learning disabilities and autism.

Alongside Dimensions, the event was co-led by trainers from learning disability support providers Certitude and with resource provider Beyond Words. The event highlighted:

  • 98% of GPs say they would benefit from a short training session, led by people with learning disabilities or autism, on how to meet the individual needs of patients.
  • Two thirds of GPs say they have received less than a day’s training on how to meet the needs of patients with learning disabilities or autism
  • 60% of people with a learning disability said their GP did not make reasonable adjustments for them
  • Three quarters of GPs would like additional training on reasonable adjustments.
Dimensions Campaign Advisor, Mark Brookes and Dimensions Health and Equalities Lead, Jordan Smith, talking reasonable adjustments with MP, Alex Cunningham

The government recently committed to introducing mandatory awareness training for healthcare professionals following the Learning Disability Mortality Review (LeDeR). The move came after increasing pressure from parents like Paula McGowan, whose son Oliver died through being given the wrong medication against his parents’ wishes, and prominent campaigns from providers such as Dimensions and Certitude.

Dimensions Public Affairs officer, Andie Gbedemah, who helped organise the event said: “Now we must ensure that this training is delivered not just for people with learning disabilities and autism – but also by people with lived experience too. If we can manage this it will encourage services to become more accessible.”

Talking with MP Eleanor Smith

Dimensions’ #MyGPandMe

Dimensions’ #MyGPandMe is a campaign to make doctors’ surgeries more accessible for people with learning disabilities and autism.

In partnership with Beyond Words, the campaign is leading the drive for health equality in primary care. #MyGPandMe comes after government research found that people with learning disabilities die an average of 25 years earlier than their non-disabled peers.*

Through the campaign, Dimensions is offering free training sessions for GPs and surgery staff using Beyond Words’ accessible resources. The training is led by people with learning disabilities and autism who have lived experience of accessing healthcare.

By taking part in training, practices can make a real difference to their communities and ensure that everybody receives the highest quality healthcare possible.

Dimensions Campaigns Advisor Mark Brookes, with MP, Marsha de Cordova

Certitude’s Treat Me Right!

Certitude’s Treat Me Right! campaign provides learning disability and autism awareness training to staff and clinicians in healthcare and other services. Treat Me Right! training is co-delivered by people with learning disabilities and/or autism who are able to talk directly about their experience.

Over the last ten years, the Treat Me Right! team has trained 1000s of doctors, nurses and other professionals and staff in health and social care across west and north-west London. The TMR! Team believes that everyone who works in a profession where they might meet people with learning disabilities or autism should have awareness training delivered to them by people with ‘lived-experience’.


Figures are from the #MyGPandMe report, available online https://www.dimensions-uk.org/get-involved/campaigns/make-gps-accessible-mygpandme/report/

*Learning Disability Mortality Review Annual Report 2016/17, University of Bristol, 2018