The Once for Wales Health Profile: Improving Health Communication and Safety for People with Learning Disabilities

Impact: Other impacts

Description of impact

This research informed development of the Once for Wales Health Profile. This tool aims to improve health communication and safety for people with learning disabilities when accessing healthcare services. It does this through providing a four page template which individuals with learning disabilities and their carers can complete and which health professionals can use to provide appropriate care. The template includes sections for personal details, health needs, communication needs and support needs (including any requirements for reasonable adjustments).

How did your research contribute?

In two key ways:
1. A review of 60 existing health communication tools / passports (Northway et al, 2017) identified a lack of consistency in relation to format, content and length of such documents. This was flagged as a patient safety issue since this lack of consistency could mean that such documents are not recognised by healthcare staff, that information is missing or not easily retrieved in an emergency, and that documents are therefore not used. The development of a standardised tool was therefore recommended.
2. In 2019 UDIDD at USW secured the tender from Improvement Cymru to develop a 'Once for Wales' health communication tool for people with learning disabilities. To ensure the resulting tool was both evidence based and met the needs of all stakeholders research was undertaken to inform development. This included both an on-line survey for health professionals, families, carers and social care staff and focus groups with people with learning disabilities. Views were sought regarding priority areas for inclusion (ranking of those areas of information identified in the original review undertaken [Northway et al, 2017]), the preferred length of the document and the preferred format. Data were analysed and a prototype tool developed. This was reviewed by and discussed with stakeholders and revisions made. The resulting tool 'The Health Profile' was launched in July 2020.

Who is affected?

People with learning disabilities
Parents and carers of people with learning disabilities
Health professionals across all settings and specialisms
Health Boards seeking to provide appropriate care for people with learning disabilities and to meet their legal requirement to make reasonable adjustments
Impact dateJul 2020
Category of impactOther impacts
Impact levelIn progress