THE Welsh Ambulance Service has been helping people with learning disabilities to understand how its services have changed through the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Trust’s Patient Experience and Community Involvement Team hosted a ‘Keeping You Safe’ event to explain to people with learning disabilities and their support workers why crews now wear Personal Protective Equipment and what tests they may need to perform before taking someone to hospital.

More than 40 people attended the virtual event last week.

Leanne Hawker, the Trust’s Head of Patient Experience and Community Involvement, said: “Evidence tells us that the Coronavirus pandemic is having an acute impact on those with care and support needs, especially people with learning disabilities.

“Members of this community have reported feeling anxious about the lockdown restrictions, which is then compounded when they see our ambulance crews in Personal Protective Equipment.

“It was important that we took the time to explain how we’re working differently and to allay those anxieties, and the feedback we had from the session was that it really helped.”

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The session was hosted via Zoom in a first for the engagement team.

Leanne added: “Not only has Covid-19 changed the way we deliver services, it’s changed the way we engage with our communities.

“Historically we’ve hosted these events face-to-face but we’ve now begun the process of hosting them virtually in order to reduce the risk to both staff and the public.

“We already work closely with the learning disability community and hope that these virtual events strengthen that relationship and improve their understanding of the way we work, as well as shape the way we deliver services in the future.”

To contact the Welsh Ambulance Service about future events, please email PECI.team@wales.nhs.uk

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