MacIntyre’s Health Special Interest Group (HSIG) leads MacIntyre’s Health Agenda for the people we support. A few times a year, the group – made up of MacIntyre staff, at all levels, across the country, as well external members – get together to share expertise, knowledge and experience to ensure MacIntyre staff are as skilled as possible and that the changing health needs of the people we support are always met.
When asked why the group feels health is important, some members said:
“Health is the base for everything. Getting the right treatment for the people we support is not currently where we need it to be.”
“People with a learning disability are living longer, but they are also still dying much earlier than they should be. With the right support, there is no reason that a person with a learning disability can’t live 20 years longer than they currently are.”
“Health impacts education and learning, so therefore ensuring our learners are the healthiest they can be is essential. We’re currently supporting a lot of our learners with access to health appointments, so it’s a really important topic.”
“I want to be an advocate and support people with their health as much as I can; it’s about supporting staff to know how to access healthcare for the people we support.”
HSIG were lucky to be joined by two incredible guest speakers – Louisa and Ian Warburton, who delivered a powerful presentation about Louisa’s journey with numerous health conditions and incomplete diagnoses and her life since, living with the daily challenges that her acquired brain injury has given her. Ian, Louisa’s Dad, spoke passionately about the obstacles they faced as a family in getting a diagnosis, appropriate treatment and future support. Louisa and Ian’s story showed that everyone has their challenges – whether visible or not, and it is important to stay positive and determined to live the best life you possibly can.
The group also discussed Health Recording and the changes the Health team are currently working on in preparation of implementing the Innovation Agency’s Anticipatory Care Calendar, known in MacIntyre as the Health Calendar, across MacIntyre. Working alongside the MacIntyre Dementia Project, the aim of the Health Recording Project is to support staff to be able to confidently record all health and behaviour changes of the people they support, in order for them to have accurate and detailed information to take to health appointments and ultimately to achieve a timely diagnosis of any health condition.
Mental Health was another topic on the agenda, and the group worked together to review five new Mental Health booklets which have been put together following the last HSIG meeting. The topics being reviewed were:
- Overview of Mental Health
- Personality Disorders
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorders
Lastly, the group discussed how the Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) team and Health team are already working together to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of the people we support and links between PBS and Health are much intertwined.
Sarah Ormston, MacIntyre’s Specialist Health Advisor and Dementia Project Manager, said:
“It was amazing to have so many people come to the HSIG, and it shows just how many members of staff are committed to improving the lives of the people we support and ensuring they have the best skills and knowledge to do so. Health is incredibly high on MacIntyre’s agenda and we’re working hard to make sure our Health Recording is the best it can be; in particular, we’re excited for the roll out of the Health Calendar to all MacIntyre staff in April 2018 as we know it will make a huge positive impact on the people we support.”
To find out more about the HSIG or if you would be interested in being one of our guest speakers in 2018, please email Sarah Ormston – firstname.lastname@example.org