On Wednesday 11th December, KSS AHSN held our first ever engagement event exploring the needs of those with Learning Disabilities across Kent, Surrey and Sussex, as well as the needs of families, carers and providers of health and social care.

With over 60 attendees, we heard about people’s personal experiences from multiple families exploring themes like emergency admissions to hospital, social isolation, communication and accessibility to different services.

We began to explore the limited data that’s available from KSS and compare that with England-wide data and heard about the hospital passport prompts that are in use in Sussex.

We also explored support that is available for carers, like Action for Carers in Surrey and watched the NHS England Out of the Woods short film.

The video raises awareness of the challenges and issues faced by young carers,  gives an insight into their lives and hopefully encourages young carers to take steps to seek support. 

We’d also urge every health and social professional to watch Connor Sparrowhawk – The Tale of Laughing Boy, which details the experience of Sara Ryan and her son, Conor Sparrowhawk. 

We’re incredibly gratefully to all our speakers and those who contributed on the day and we were delighted to connect so many people together from different parts of the health social and education systems that hadn’t met each other before. A lot of contact details were exchanged throughout the day and novel ideas and approaches shared! 

Next week, we are going to start collating the discussions we captured on the tables, baubles and feedback forms. We will share the themes that arise with attendees and stakeholders in the New Year for further input and discussion, before we prepare to approach innovators and academia for potential solutions. 

  • If you’d like to get involved in our work around Learning Disabilities please email Athina Lockyer.