Hospital celebrates and supports those with learning difficulties

students participating in the Sign Along event

students participating in the Sign Along event - Credit: Archant

Staff, patients and carers at James Paget Hospital got together for a week to celebrate and support people with learning difficulties.

Learning Difficulties Week is an annual event aiming to raise awareness of the 1.4 million people in the UK with them.

This year’s focus was mainly on the health aspects such as early identification of cancers, in addition to lots of information on issues such as healthy living, exercise, sexual health and more.

One of the activities held was a session called Sign Along, held by Heather Rose from the John Grant School, where many of the hospital’s student nurses were shown how to communicate using sign language.

Janet Hawkins, Patient Experience Assistant at JPUH, said “I feel communication to all our patients is very important, which is why I went to the Sign Along session. I would be very interested in attending any future sessions to increase my ability to communicate with patients who have learning difficulties or dementia. The week ended on a high with the East Norfolk Community Learning Disability Information Day, organised by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCHC), Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and JPUH (NSFT).

The week also featured various guest speakers and local support groups.