Learning disabilities

Resources: Communication with patients

Contents

To aid communication with your patients

Books Beyond Words

Signalong

Makaton

BSL (British Sign Language) 

Talking mats 

Mencap - communicating with people with a learning disability 

Health Passports – a range of resources

Hospital Admission Booklet for Acute Hospital Admission – patient passport for hospital admission, with separate versions for adults and children. NHS Glasgow and Greater Clyde.

My health record (pdf) - Leeds Mental Health NHS Trust.

The health passport - developed by Talkback in Buckinghamshire.

The hospital communication book (pdf) - specifically for stays in hospital, this practical guide helps people who have difficulty communicating get an equal service in hospital. Developed with the Surrey Learning Disability Partnership Board.

The hospital traffic light assessment form (pdf) - Gloucestershire Partnership NHS Trust.

Working Together: Easy steps to improving how people with a learning disability are supported when in hospital (pdf) - guidance for hospitals, families and paid support staff.

Training and information on communication and accessibility

Beyond Words

CHANGE

Clear for all 

Communication matters    

Communication Forum Scotland - alliance of organisations representing people with varied communication support needs, includes the Talk for Scotland toolkit.   

Hospital care

Working Together: Easy steps to improving how people with a learning disability are supported when in hospital (pdf) - guidance for hospitals, families and paid support staff.

Hospital Admission Booklet for Acute Hospital Admission (pdf) – guidelines and symbols. NHS Glasgow and Greater Clyde.

Meeting the health needs of people with disabilities (pdf) - guidance for nursing staff. Royal College of Nursing (2013).

Five good communication standards - reasonable adjustments to communication that individuals with learning disability and/or autism should expect in specialist hospital and residential settings. Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (2013).

Improving general hospital care of patients with a learning disability (pdf) - guide to enable healthcare organisations and their teams to successfully implement a series of interventions to improve the safety and quality of care that their patients receive. NHS Wales (2014). 

Making information accessible

Making written information easier to understand for people with learning disabilities - guidance for people who commission or produce easy read information. Department of Health (England).

Scottish Accessible Information Forum (SAIF) - information on producing accessible information, including for electronic communication.

NHS Inform - resources for patients on issues like consent, confidentiality, making a complaint about treatment etc. Some are available in easy read as well as other formats.            

Understanding Intellectual Disability & Health - learning resource for medical, nursing and other healthcare students.

Assessing pain and distress

DisDAT tool - for assessing distress in people with severe communication difficulties.  

Pain in people with learning disabilities in residential settings: the need for change - Social Care Institute for Excellence.

Dignity in Healthcare for people with learning disabilities (pdf) - Royal College of Nursing.

Challenging behaviour

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation.   

Videos on challenging behaviour and learning disabilities - Social Care Institute for Excellence.