BLOG: Training Health and Social Care Professionals

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By Christopher Porter, Self Advocate

I am the self-advocate co-chair of the North Yorkshire health task group and before the lockdown, I went to a meeting in York. This was run by Inclusion North and was about helping us to think of ways to train health and social care professionals.

Mum took me to the station to get the train to Leeds. I had booked Assisted Travel, so a man called Geoff took me to get the train to York and Jess, a KeyRing worker, met me at the station.

The meeting was held at the Principal Hotel which was right beside York Railway Station. Rebecca Cole from Inclusion North welcomed everyone and said she was looking forward to today’s Workshop. This workshop was about looking at self-advocates ideas for training health and Social care professionals about how they talk to us.

Rebecca read us some of our ideas which we had sent her from all the self-advocacy groups and local area groups across North Yorkshire. So we got in to groups to talk about what was working well or not working well when we visit GPs and the hospital. I talked about going for an annual health check when I had a blood test.

Rebecca asked us what could be made better and some people said they had problems reading appointment letters and information about medication. We then gave feedback on how hard we find it to understand health professionals and how hard they find it when they talk to us.

After lunch Rebecca talked about the training that is being done in other parts of the country and showed us three documents on how we should be treated by professionals. Then we watched two films about a group in Leeds called CHANGE talking about why people with learning disabilities should be involved in training health professionals.

Rebecca asked us what we could do to get our message across to health and social care staff.  We talked about doing a podcast to talk about learning disability health issues such as getting reasonable adjustments, longer appointments, easy read information and “getting to know you” games.

This was a really good meeting and we had lots to think about, now we need to find ways to work together to make our good ideas happen.

For more information about self-advocacy in North Yorkshire you can follow the group on Twitter and Instagram. You can also contact Karen Murray at or on 07833 309 693.

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