MP meets with focus group

MEMBERS of Scarborough’s Learning Disability Focus Group made their voices heard during a meeting with MP Robert Goodwill.

The meeting was held at Eastfield Clinic and items on the agenda included the group’s campaign for a learning disability liaison nurse to be taken on at Scarborough Hospital.

Health facilitator Lynne Taylor said: “The group has been campaigning on this for about 18 months.

“We’ve had several meetings and been knocked back by the primary care trust and the acute trust.

“I’ve received many complaints from people with a leaning disability who have been in hospital and not had a very good stay.

“It seems like the hospital has a lot on its agenda at the moment, but learning disability doesn’t seem high enough up it.”

However, Mrs Taylor said that some reasonable adjustments had been made at the hospital - for example, quiet rooms for people with autism.

Mr Goodwill said he hoped the merger of Scarborough and York health trusts could bring about a positive change in this area.

He said: “The main thing that needs resolving is Scarborough’s deficit of around £7 million.

“If we can persuade the Department of Health that this could be a one-off write-off, I think you stand a good case and there may be more latitude to have a specialist learning disability nurse.”

Mr Goodwill promised to write to the hospital’s chief executive Mike Proctor about the issue.

Also on the agenda was the of suitable rooms in Scarborough for adult personal changing.

Mrs Taylor told Mr Goodwill that there are currently no changing facilities in Scarborough which are open 24/7.

She explained that adults with a learning disability were not having their needs met when it comes to accessible toilets and personal changing.

One group member added: “Places will do it for babies - they should have the same respect for adults. It’s not their fault.”

Mr Goodwill said he was all for getting the private sector involved in creating community resources.

He suggested that the new town centre Tesco might consider having an adult changing facility in store - particularly as the development is being built from scratch.

Mr Goodwill said he would write and suggest this to Tesco and to Sainsbury’s in Whitby.

He said: “I believe the squeaking wheel gets oiled and I will certainly squeak on your behalf.”