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Published: 12 September, 2023
A new role within the organisation will ensure patients with learning disabilities will have access to specialist healthcare and support.
Kirstie-Jo Sherwin, specialist learning disability nurse, has the knowledge and skills to support GP practices in reducing barriers for individuals with learning disabilities to enable them to live fulfilling and independent lives.
Kirstie-Jo started her position at the end of July and has said that she is enjoying immersing herself in the role.
“As a nurse, I am really passionate about reducing health inequalities and advocating for people with learning disabilities to have access to the appropriate healthcare and information,” she said.
“My main duties include identifying and supporting existing registered patients who have a diagnosed learning disability and improving or maintaining their physical and mental health. I will support our GP practices to care for these patients and provide advice, guidance and training to colleagues to provide the best possible care.
“As a learning disability nurse, my superpower is understanding a person’s communication. I will assist the multidisciplinary team in understanding the healthcare needs of the patients. It is my role to review and complete their annual health checks and provide useful information for individuals and their families or carers.
“Also, I am in the process of contacting all learning disability patients who have not visited their registered practice to increase uptake and will support them with any necessary reasonable adjustments needed for them to attend.
“Furthermore, I will be working with community learning disability teams to undertake health promotion work with special educational needs schools to encourage access to appropriate health and social care services, when needed."
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