A University of South Wales student has come up with a novel way of involving people with learning disabilities in deciding on their own care.
23-year-old Jade Silver, from Torfaen developed an easy-read guide to care and treatment plans.
At the ‘Strengthening the Commitment’ conference in Derby last week, Jade, who will graduate from USW with a degree in Learning Disability Nursing later this year, won an award for her ‘best practice’ example.
“It’s one of those ideas that was so simple people were saying ‘why haven’t we done something like this before?’” said Jade.
“But everyone’s always so busy caring for people that they don’t always get the time to sit down and plan things like this.
“There are easy-read versions for people without learning disabilities so I developed one by adapting some of those ideas.”
If approved it could be rolled out across Wales and made available elsewhere. Jade believes it’s a really important step:
“We focus on a ‘person-focused’ style of nursing so it’s a huge priority for us to involve everyone in planning how their care is delivered.
“This should help people with learning disabilities to understand the processes surrounding their care so they can plan their treatment with medical professionals and family.”
Ruth Northway, Professor of Learning Disability Nursing at the University of South Wales said:
“It is really pleasing to see one of our students both recognizing where there is a need to develop practice, and taking action to make this development happen.
“This is a great piece of work that should enable people with learning disabilities to be more fully involved in their care planning.
“At the University of South Wales we teach our students to be adaptive, innovative and creative in caring for people with learning disabilities, so I’m really proud of Jade for using those skills in this way.”