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This week is UK Learning Disability week and each day we will be highlighting different aspects of our service, and giving you some interesting insights into the lives of people with Learning Disabilities in Fife.

A learning disability is a significant, lifelong condition that started before adulthood, which affected the person’s development and which means they need help to understand new or complex information, learn new skills and cope independently.(The Same as You, 2000; Valuing People, 2001)

For day 1 we wanted to highlight a new booklet which may be of interest to colleagues across Fife. Getting things right for people with a learning disability isn’t just about the specialist Learning Disability services. Meeting that challenge means all NHS services, and the staff who work in them, need to play their part.

People with a learning disability have physical and sometimes mental health needs, just like we all do, but too often they face additional barriers to accessing these services. Whether it’s a Physiotherapy department, their local dentist, GP Practice or a specialist in-patient hospital ward, these barriers are often overlooked and as a result, we see real inequalities in health outcomes for this group of patients.

Specialist Learning Disability Physiotherapists from across the UK (including Fife) have written an information booklet specifically aimed at Physio’s who don’t specialise in Learning Disabilities. Working on the principle that the majority of people with a Learning Disability can successfully access mainstream physiotherapy services when reasonable adjustments are made, this booklet aims to give support and advice to the Therapistswho will see them in these settings. Produced in conjunction with The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, this downloadable booklet gives handy hints and tips for breaking down the barriers to accessing healthcare that this patient group faces. Although it was designed for Physiotherapists, the content will be equally useful to a wide range of health professionals and can be accessed via the link below: