NHS County Durham CCG and County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust (CDDFT) have jointly commissioned local drama group Mixit to produce an awareness video, in an effort to promote behavioural change around people with a learning disability.
The video focuses on Andrew’s Story, and is based on a serious incident that occurred at the University Hospital of North Durham. Andrew lived with Down’s syndrome and came into hospital with a very bad UTI. However, he was not recovering from it and staff were not asking why.
Certain behaviours that Andrew was exhibiting were attributed to his dementia, and further questions were not asked. Unfortunately, this led to staff failing to diagnose his two pathological broken hips for several weeks.
County Durham CCG and CDDFT wish for this case to be used as learning tool, to show that reasonable adjustments should be made for patients with disabilities and assumptions should not be made.
The video has been produced with the consent and support of Andrew’s family, who wish to share his story in the hopes of changing attitudes towards those with learning disabilities in primary care settings. Andrew was non-verbal, and the video was deliberately designed to be his voice because he didn’t have one.
The campaign surrounding this short film is encouraging everyone to work together in listening to those who have learning disabilities, and not make assumptions around what is best for them. Healthcare workers and the public are encouraged to ‘look the right way’ and not dismiss individual concerns on the grounds of preconceived ideas about a person’s capacity to know what is right for them.
The case was reviewed by NHS County Durham CCG’s Learning Disability Mortality Review (LeDeR) programme as a learning disability mortality review, and the powerful video was designed to be a ‘lessons learnt’ from the incident.
This was classed as a serious incident and an action plan was developed to ensure lessons are to be learnt. The investigation findings were shared with the family to ensure a transparent process. Changes will be adopted within the Trust to ensure that patients with learning disabilities are heard.
You can read more about the details of the action plan here.
You can watch See Me – Andrew’s Story here.