A HEALTH authority has been praised by a grieving family for helping them to turn “anger into action”.
Jayne Nicholls and Jonathan Ridd have campaigned tirelessly to end a so called ‘postcode lottery’ in the care of people with a learning disability in Wales.
This followed the death of their brother, Paul Ridd, who had severe learning disabilities, at Swansea’s Morriston Hospital in 2008.
At an inquest into Paul’s death a coroner ruled that failings in his care contributed to his death. His care was described as “abject” and “dire” by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales.
Since then, the family have worked with the Welsh Government and health boards across Wales to improve standards of care.
Speaking at the launch of a new initiative – to improve the care of people with a learning disability in North Wales hospitals – Mrs Nicholls said North Wales’ Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) should be commended for playing a leading role.
She said: “There are some very driven staff in North Wales who are committed to working with us – and other health boards across Wales – to deliver meaningful change in the care of people with learning disabilities.”
‘Paul Ridd Foundation’ logos – which have been officially adopted to identify adults with learning disabilities across Wales – have been launched.
The logos will act as ‘indicators’ for hospital staff so they are aware that a patient has a learning disability and will need extra support.
This initiative will be introduced in all BCUHB hospitals across North Wales to further strengthen and improve the care and support given to adults with learning disabilities.
Kim Scandariato, BCUHB’s matron for health liaison services, added: “Where we have consent to do so, the logos will be displayed prominently on the patient’s wristbands, hospital notes and above their bed.
“They will complement the care bundles we have introduced which ensure that hospital staff make reasonable adjustments to support people with a learning disability when they’re admitted to hospital.”