What Matters to Me

Summary

‘Improvements to learning disability services have been documented in recent years, but it is recognised that more needs to happen. This project was developed, with guidance from members of the Bamford Monitoring Group, to explore service users’ and carers’ current views and experiences of learning disability services. In particular, this project sought to give service users an opportunity to have their say / express their views on learning disability services. The specific objectives of the project were to: Engage with learning disability service users and their carers to provide an opportunity for people to give their views on learning disability services; To understand the views of service users and carers about what they feel is working well and not working well in learning disability services; and to establish the key issues service users and carers have with learning disability services.’

Location

Northern Ireland

Organisation/s

Patient and Client Council

Issues addressed

Service users’ and carers’ views on learning disability services

Background information

‘This project was developed with guidance from members of the Bamford Monitoring Group to explore service users and carer’s current views and experiences of learning disability services. The specific objectives of the project were to: Engage with learning disability service users and carers to provide an opportunity for people to give their views on learning disability services; To understand the views of service users and carers about what they feel is working well and not working well in learning disability services; and To establish the key issues service users and carers have with learning disability services.’

Description of practice

‘Throughout 2014 and 2015, Personal and Public Involvement (PPI) Officers from the Patient and Client Council (PCC) carried out focus groups across Northern Ireland with learning disability service user groups. These focus groups asked participants about what was working well/ not working well and what they would like to change within learning disability services. This piece of work aimed to give service users an opportunity to express their views on learning disability services. In total the project spoke to 48 service users and 24 carers across 11 focus groups.’

Analysis

‘Service users highlighted six key areas which were specifically relevant to them. These included: views on day opportunities; supported housing; respite (short break) services; further education; training and work; and HSC staff in learning disability support services. There were things that worked well and did not work well in the discussions with services users about their learning disability services. They reported how day services were important to them and choice, flexibility, and independence were key aspects to day services which worked well. Whilst many service users reported positive experiences of staff they also reported that staff did not always understand their particular needs. Respite was also an area which service users talked about positively and identified it as something they enjoyed however a few expressed frustration with limited access to these services.’

Additional information

Report: What Matters To Me? Service users’ and carers’ views on learning disability services

2014 Inclusion Europe. Rue d'Arlon 55, 1040 Brussels, Belgium