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A Family Perspective on Reasonable Adjustments

Lynne and Luke are mother and brother of Chris, a young man with severe learning disabilities and autism. Chris has complex support needs, so needs a lot of 'reasonable adjustments' under the Equality Act 2010 to access healthcare. In this article Lynne and Luke describe Chris' hopsital admission planning. 

Chris has an individualised Health and Wellbeing passport, which describes what he needs to keep healthy and what to do when unwell. He has had reasonable adjustments made to his healthcare, such as regularly using 'urine multisticks' to test for abnormalities in various functions. However, there has also been uncertainty and confusion about how to assess Chris' health, as he is fearful of human contact. After a difficult experience at a planned hospital appointment, we knew we needed a detailed plan for any hospital admissions. 

An Individual Care Management Plan was drawn up for Chris, coordinated by the GP and involving his family, support provider and CCG. The document lists his patient details, why the plan is needed, his background medical history, and the names and contact details of key people involved in his care.

The plan for Chris to be taken into hospital includes adjustments such as:

  • Ambulance staff will telephone ahead to A&E.
  • A private room will be ready for Chris, with low arousal environment and no small objects. 
  • Hospital staff on stand-by, including A&E consultant, senior nurse and an anaesthetist.
  • The sedatives and anaesthetic he should be given. 
  • Chris will be accompanied by support staff and family at all times.

Should Chris fall ill or injure himself, his support staff, paramedics and hospital staff would follow this plan to ensure the necessary adjustments are made for him to access the healthcare he needs. 

Family and the support provider had to be proactive to bring this plan together and the professionals involved needed to take a holistic view of Chris' health, work together and be creative. It took considerable time and effort, but it has made a huge difference to Chris' wellbeing. 

Lynne

Family carer

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