26 November 2018

ELFT has held its first ever Learning Disability Conference for 150 staff at the Friends Centre, Euston Road, London.

Clinical Director Dr Sanjay Nelson told attendees that the aim was to see how LD fits into the Trust’s new strategy and how people participation can be used to improve the service.

ELFT now has LD services across its patch from east London to Bedfordshire, some of which only came on board in the last three years.

Trust CEO Navina Evans told the conference that the NHS needs to ‘look to our friends and communities and people with learning disabilities who have something really important to contribute to the service’.

Other speakers included the inspirational Gavin Harding, now an LD advisor to NHS England, who told of his traumatic experiences while a service user at an assessment and treatment centre in the north east of England. As a result he set up Voices for People, a self-advocacy group to support service users.

Gavin has gone on to become the first mayor in the country with learning disabilities when he took up the ceremonial robes in Selby, North Yorkshire, and has been further honoured with a MBE.

Also speaking was Dr Jean O’Hara, National Clinical Director for LD, who updated staff about the NHS’s long-term plan for learning disability and autism.

Other speakers:
Anne Webster - Interim Head of Learning Disability Nursing at NHSE
Auze Chitewe from our QI team
Professor Angela Hassiotis - Professor in Intellectual Disability in the Division of Psychiatry at UCL and honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the Camden Learning Disability Team
Dr Emily Handley-Cole - National Premature Mortality Governance and Development Lead, and London Regional Coordinator for the LeDeR Programme
Closing by Mary Elford- Vice Chair, ELFT