Chief hails ‘pioneering’ work of Sunderland disabilities group

opening the new Community Treatment centre at Monkwearmouth Hospital Dr Dominic Slowie, centre, is joined by CEO John Lawlor and trust govenor Rachel Simpson

opening the new Community Treatment centre at Monkwearmouth Hospital Dr Dominic Slowie, centre, is joined by CEO John Lawlor and trust govenor Rachel Simpson

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New help is being made available to Wearsiders living with learning disabilities after the opening of a new health facility.

National Clinical Director for Learning Disabilities Dr Dominic Slowie was at Monkwearmouth Hospital, in Newcastle Road, to formally unveil the new home for Sunderland Learning Disabilities Community Treatment Team.

What this will mean is the best possible care for people who are vulnerable to enable them to live life to their full potential.

National Clinical Director for Learning Disabilities, Dr Dominic Slowie

The centre provides a number of services including nursing, psychology, physiotherapy, psychiatry, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy.

It’s hoped that through the creation of the team, more people with associated conditions will be able to avoid stays in hospital.

The opening of the new building and service has been developed in partnership with clinical commissioning groups, social care providers and the carers centre.

Dr Slowie, who visited as part of Learning Disability Week, told the Echo: “What this will mean is the best possible care for people who are vulnerable, to enable them to live life to their full potential.

“They will be citizens of the community with rights the same as any other person in Sunderland.

“People with learning disabilities have a right to employment, their own homes and the chance to live independently.

“What’s happening here in Sunderland really is pioneering stuff.”

Chief executive of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust John Lawlor said: “It is fitting that as we mark Learning Disability Week, we should be officially opening a building which will make such a positive impact to the ongoing treatment of people living with learning disabilities.”