Local man is runner up in National Learning Disability Award

John off to make his pitch for his award nomination
John off to make his pitch for his award nomination

 John Keaveny, who works as a training consultant for Certitude’s Treat Me Right! service in Ealing was a runner up in a prestigious national award competition. However, unlike most of the people nominated for an award, John has a learning disability himself.

A few years ago John, who has Down’s syndrome, collapsed at home and was rushed into hospital with breathing difficulties. He remained there for four weeks and found the experience difficult and confusing. Now he uses his experience to improve the situation for other people with learning disabilities when they go to hospital.

As part of the Treat Me Right! team, John works with Elsa Morris to deliver up to four Learning Disability Awareness courses at Ealing hospital and Ealing Community Health Services each month. He trains doctors, surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses, student nurses, midwives and junior doctors about how they can improve their treatment of people with learning disabilities. He recently trained over 100 student nurses at West London University and more and more local businesses are inviting him to talk to them too.

The positive impact of John’s work is clear; his training has led to the introduction of a number of significant changes at the hospital and in local health services. John’s work has contributed to the success of the “Treat Me Right!” project, with Ealing Hospital adopting new tools for people with learning disabilities to improve communication, including Health Passports.

John says: “The stuff that Treat Me Right! does, really works and makes a difference. I have met lots of people with Learning Disabilities and carers who tell me good stories about how they have seen changes in the way they were treated in Ealing Hospital, or by their local GP.They say they want other hospitals and health services to make similar improvements and I agree!”

Elsa Morris comments: “John has shown that with a determined and can-do approach it is possible to make real positive changes which benefit people with learning disabilities when they go into hospital. He has huge amounts of energy and is also Chair of Ealing Partnership Board’s Health Sub Group, meeting regularly to plan improvements to health services.”

John received his runner-up award at The National Learning Disabilities Awards gala on Friday 16th May. “Being a runner up on the night was as good as winning’, he says. “I know my family, my friends and my colleagues are all so proud of me and all I have achieved by being a trainer with Treat Me Right!”

Find out more about Treat Me Right!