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Monday 19 August 2019
Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
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Dan wearing the body apron
Daniel says we can't see inside our bodies. He is using the body apron to explain why Health Action Plans are important.

Learning disabilities service

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We offer assessment and intervention to people who have a learning disability (some services call this intellectual disability).




Who works in the learning disability service?


Clinical Psychologists


Learning Disability Nurses


Occupational Therapists






Speech and Language therapists


Strategic Health Facilitation


Team Administrator


How do I get an appointment with the learning disability service?


Referrals can come to us from you, your family or carer, your GP, or other profession and then we will invite you or your parent for a first appointment to learn more about you. We will often visit you at home or anywhere else more suitable for you.


What happens on my first appointment?


At the first appointment often we will meet with you and your parents or carers, sometimes we may see them on their own. We will try and work out if our service can help you. If we find out that your difficulties are not because of a learning disability, or you are a child or young person then we will ask another service to help. We also sometimes also gather all of the people involved in your care together to try and work together. We will meet you with your parents/carers at a place that suits you.


What happens next?


We will ask lots of questions and maybe watch the things that you do. Our assessment and advice or support will be in your community or where you live. We will provide help that is personal to you which will meet your health needs and support your family. We will consider the right things for your age, ability and culture. We will plan how to help with you and your carers. We think the best outcomes for people are when families and their wider support networks are fully engaged and invested and working in partnership with our team.   


We use lots of person-centred approaches:     


  • Provide education – with regards to diagnosis and health problems, with further work as necessary      
  • Family and carer work – helping families and carers to understand behaviour, facilitating the development of skills, positive behaviour plans, enhancing coping mechanisms and promoting appropriate activity, occupation and communication
  • Specialised individual therapies – behavioural approaches adapted for use with learning disabilities e.g. family work, Occupational Therapy, Sensory Processing Assessments and interventions, Social Stories, Special Hearing Clinic, eating and drinking advice, postural and mobility care.
  • Pharmacological therapy (medicines)  used sometimes in complexconditions                       
  • Liaising and joint working      


We work closely with other people involved, with consent, to ensure a smooth coordinated approach


We might not just see you. We will talk to others involved in your care, and help other services to understand your needs (liaison). Some workers may contact us for advice (consultation) and we may also provide training for services that help you. Sometimes we will act as the main person to contact about your care (coordination).


Our learning disabilities services include:



Learn more about the different types of learning disabilities, how to cope with a diagnosis and challenging behaviour, and much more, by visiting the NHS website.



People that can give you advice

Our Community Teams can help individuals with significant learning disabilities who need specialist support: Click here to find out more

For information about improving the health of people with learning disabilities contact our Strategic Health Facilitation team: 01332 268455

For more information about pharmacy support for adults with learning disabilities click here:

Patients with Learning Disabilities attending the Royal Derby Hospital can have help from Debbie Edwards, Acute Liaison Nurse for Learning Disabilities. You can contact her on 01332 340131 ext 88611. Click here to see the website for information about Debbie and the Hospital. NHS Choices have a guide to help people with a learning disability to prepare for a stay in hospital.

Our Patient Experience Team (Complaints and PALs) can advise you about local services and help you with any questions or concerns.Tel: 0800 027 2128 (Freephone) or 01332 623751 Email: dhcft.patientexperience@nhs.net

Click here to find out more about how to look after yourself and keep well.



Other people and organisations that may be able to help


Information about your health


To find out more about learning disabilities, see NHS Choices and the Mencap site

GMC advice for doctors on treating patients with a learning disability

Reasonable Adjustments Wheel
Reasonable Adjustments Wheel

To print a copy of the Reasonable Adjustments Wheel click here

Easy News is the first newspaper designed to be accessible for people with learning disabilities.

Politics and the news are often inaccessible to people with learning disabilities because of the use of jargon and difficult language. Easy News will be published every two months and will be available in print and online. An audio version will also be available on CD and online.