LETTER: Flagship for special care
One could ask for nothing more. Last week we had to attend the Special Care Dental Service at the DGH with our daughter who has a learning disability and required a general anaesthetic for dental treatment, x-rays and blood tests, as she is also unable to tolerate having blood taken at her GP surgery, arranged by Jayne Osborne, Special Needs Community Dental Services. From the moment that we arrived at the Day Surgery Unit, to a quiet reception area, our treatment was exemplary. Katie was greeted by Dr Trevor King and after a few ‘high fives’ she was happy to be led off by him to the special unit. The care and treatment from every member of the team was superb. This department is a showcase for treatment of people with a learning disability in a hospital setting. The majority of us have anxieties when attending hospital but people with a learning disability even more so, as they have no understanding of the need for their attendance in this strange place. The crowds and having to wait is extremely stressful. The Special Care Dental Service, led by Dr Leona Turner and Dr King ‘has got it sussed’! It has not been an easy ride, as much training, organisation, with special empathy of all concerned on the team, and sanctions ‘from the powers that be’ have taken many years. We can be encouraged for the future by the permanent position of Jean Duffy, Acute Liaison Nurse, Learning Disabilities, at the DGH, who has already made great strides in providing training, raising the profile of the needs of people with a learning disability and electronic alerting systems throughout all departments. The DGH is becoming a flagship for the care, attention and reasonable adjustments that can be made for people with a learning disability in a hospital setting. Congratulations and our grateful thanks.

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