Making every contact count…

For Learning Disability Week, Treat me Right! Project Worker Barry speaks to us about how Treat me Right! are designing a training course with and for people with learning disabilities and autism.

Making Every Contact Count is all about having little ‘health chats’ with friends, families and work colleagues to help improve their health. This is a nationwide initiative in which health services, community services and local authorities provide free training for people on how to begin these conversations and what to talk about.

MECC is a positive approach: no lecturing, no sanctioning, no wagging fingers in people’s faces telling them they shouldn’t be doing something. Instead, it is about listening, finding out about health issues, providing information and where to go for advice and then working out a plan of action together. All at the person’s own pace. What’s not to like?

Nell Blane from Ealing Council is running these training courses. This year Helen, Treat Me Right! Manager and I attended one of these courses. We had great fun and learnt so much in the 3 hours. We both agreed, with a few adjustments, that this would be absolutely perfect for people with learning disabilities who shouldn’t miss out on this great training.  Not only would this give people new skills and help improve their own health, it would mean that they can pass on that advice and help others with their health as well.

We approached Nell with our proposal to run a MECC course tailored for people with learning disabilities and she jumped at the idea! This course was developed alongside Treat Me Right! trainers who themselves have learning disabilities and help to train medical staff in hospitals across North West London and nursing students in University of West London.

We have made the course shorter, more flexible, adapted materials to Easy Read and made sure people have more opportunities to practice. We are running the training session for the first time this week and if it works we can put it out there for anyone with a learning disability to use.

It’s happening on the 23rd June, during Learning Disability Week. Let’s hope everyone enjoys it and gets something out of it! We will keep you posted!

Barry Collins

Barry Collins

Treat Me Right! Project Worker

Barry works with our Treat Me Right! team, raising awareness of the experiences of people with Learning Disabilities, particularly in hospitals. Treat Me Right! have recently been nominated for the National Learning Disability and Autism Awards 2017 in recognition of their work.