A SUNDERLAND NHS team has won a prestigious award for helping people with learning disabilities to improve their hearing.
Lynzee McShea, senior clinical scientist in audiology and Chris Corkish, senior lecturer in learning disability nursing, won the Unite the Union Award at the 2015 Advancing Healthcare Awards for their work.
I am very proud of this project, which has been an exciting initiative to be part of.
Chris, who recently retired from Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust’s Community Learning Disability Service, said: “The needs of the relatively small number of people with learning disabilities are easily overlooked, and winning this award will really help promote our ideas nationally.
“The model we have created is easily transferable to other areas where access to services is problematic, both for people with learning disabilities and other groups.”
Chris and Lynzee created the “3As pathways”, which stands for “Access, Assessment and Aftercare” to identify and remove barriers to services, which has had a positive impact in addressing inequalities when people with a learning disability access health services.
Once the new pathway was set up it was expected about 40 per cent of patients would have some sort of hearing impairment.
Almost all patients were found to have a significant hearing loss.
Once given the right support, those who came to the clinic showed significant improvements in communicating.
Chris added: “I am very proud of this project, which has been an exciting initiative to be part of.
“My key message is that everyone who has a learning disability can have a hearing test, and for most, hearing aids and support can not only help, but can be life-changing.”