I went to the NHS England Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester last week.
Oh, what was that like?
It was really interesting. There were lots of people taking part. There were displays and speakers, workshops and cafes.
Why were you there?
I went with our organisation. We were networking, taking part in group discussions and doing presentations. Some of our group got filmed talking about the work we do about involvement, co-production and people with learning disabilities. There was an area called Speakers Corner where people could take part in discussions about making the NHS better. People were invited to make pledges about how they are going to do this.
What are pledges?
A pledge is a promise to do something. People could write a pledge on a flag about what they will do or write or draw on a graffiti wall to share good ideas.
I can think of a few things I’d like the NHS to promise to change. What about accessibility when I go to the doctor or hospital. I’d like them to pledge to make reception counters lower for people and think of people who are wheelchair users.
I’d like them to pledge to make the touch screen easier to use at the doctors – I can’t use it easily.
I’d like them to make sure all the NHS staff get disability awareness training. They should learn about better communication and how to listen properly. They need to understand that everyone has different communication needs.
I want to be treated as a person – not just seen as my disability.
I think it would be good if they thought about giving people accessible information when they need it. You need easy-read information when you go home to help you with taking your medicine, as well as at the doctors.
These are all things health and social care workers need to think about changing if they want the NHS to be people-centred. They need to listen to people with disabilities.