In November 2019, Dimensions worked with the University West of England (UWE) to provide a work experience opportunity for a group of 10 student nurses. The students had all chosen to specialise in Mental Health nursing.
UWE recently redesigned its nursing programme. The revamped programme now includes a three week placement in year 1. This gives students a chance to work with people, gaining exposure and experience in health and social care. All of which provides the students with a greater understanding in their chosen field of practice.
Dimensions were keen to support this learning experience and welcomed the nursing students. Prior to their placements the university DBS checked and occupational health cleared each student. They were also given communication skills and safeguarding training.
It was a positive experience for all involved: Dimensions Locality Managers enjoyed having the students. The support teams took pride in sharing their roles and the students found it a really useful learning experience. Overall between them they contributed over 1000 hours in services across Bath and Bristol.
One of the students has even applied to stay with Dimensions as a Relief support worker!
We are very thankful to all the managers, support teams and people we support for their help in achieving these placements.
Dimensions are campaigning for improved support for people with learning disabilities or autism in primary health care. We surveyed people with learning disabilities or autism, their support teams and GPs. The results showed poor quality of primary health care due to a lack of GP training. There is overwhelming demand from GPs for more training, in fact 98% of GPs felt they could benefit from a short training session, led by people with learning disabilities or autism, on how to meet the individual needs of patients.
As a result of the survey Dimensions has produced training and downloadable resources so far:
- 400 GP surgery staff across 47 practices have received training
- There have been 2,048 views and downloads of our health resources
- We have been a part of the successful lobbying for mandatory Learning Disability training for primary care practitioners.
We would love to replicate this student volunteering experience across other regions as part of our #MyGPandMe campaign.