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Derby Hospitals is a ‘Safe Place’ for people with learning disabilities

        18 June 2012

A scheme to provide people with learning disabilities with a place of safety for whenever they feel threatened, unsafe or need assistance is being launched at Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The Safe Place scheme at Derby Hospitals is being launched on Monday 18 June, during Learning Disability Week, and aims to help vulnerable people feel confident and safe when accessing the Royal Derby Hospital and London Road Community Hospital, knowing that assistance is available if required.

Establishments such as hospitals, shops, restaurants sign up to the scheme and display a ‘Safe Place’ logo so that the vulnerable person knows that they can find a place of safety.

Scheme members carry a ‘I need help’ card that can be shown to staff at participating establishments which displays their name and a contact number of someone they trust who can be contacted in an emergency, such as a parent, carer or support worker.

Derby Hospitals’ has the ‘Safe Place’ logo displayed at the main entrances of the Royal Derby Hospital, Kings Treatment Centre and London Road Community Hospital. If a vulnerable person needs help whilst as a patient or visitor, all they have to do is show the card to a member of the reception staff in the ‘Safe Place’ area who will call the emergency contact on the card (usually a carer) and the vulnerable person can then stay in the ‘Safe Place’ until their carer arrives.

Adam Chilcott, volunteer at Empower Derby, a user led and run friendly advisory service for people with learning disabilities, said: “I am very happy that Derby’s hospitals are safe places, I know when I see the stickers I can go in and ask for help. It makes me feel safer when I'm out and about that they are places I can go if I am lost or if somebody is bullying me. We are all trying to use buses more and go out into the community. I'm glad we have places to go to help us feel safer.”

A Department of Health report on Learning Disabilities indicates that people with a learning disability are four times more likely than others to be robbed with violence or threats, one in four people with a learning disability say they have been physically assaulted while nine out of 10 people with a learning disability say they have experienced bullying in the last year.

Debbie Edwards, acute liaison nurse for people with learning disabilities, said: “I hope that the introduction of this scheme at Derby Hospitals will assist with helping vulnerable people in going about their lives in the knowledge that support is available should they need it whilst a patient or visitor.”

Membership is free. To apply for a ‘Keep Safe’ card please contact Voice UK on 01332 291042 or email safeplaces@voiceuk.org.uk.

Derby Hospitals has been working with Empower Derby to produce a short patient information video for people with learning disabilities to view online. This video shows all the stages of a patient’s journey from when they first arrive at the hospital, how they find the right department and what they would expect when they go for a blood test, CT scan, x-ray or if they were admitted to a ward. This video will be available on Derby Hospitals’ website shortly.

For further information, please contact:

 Liz Smith

Communications Officer
Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
01332 785778