New QEII gains first Purple Star for supporting patients with learning disabilities

The ambulatory care team at the New QEII hospital have received a Purple Star award from Hertfordshire County Council’s Health and Community Services People for their work in improving services for people with learning with learning disabilities. This follows the successful completion of a programme by the Community Learning Disability Service to help the team improve the quality of care and treatment experienced by this very vulnerable group of individuals.

New QEII’s ambulatory care team, with nurse team manager, Dagmar Loue (second from right, back row)

The ambulatory care service’s nurse team manager, Dagmar Louw, said:

“Due to the complexity of the hospital environment, people with learning disabilities will often avoid healthcare settings and are, therefore, at greater risk of complications. These patients often need just a bit more time, clear communication and a calm environment. When a unit has obtained a Purple Star it means that people with learning disabilities can be assured of exactly that.

“Over the last couple of years, we have worked with the county council’s health liaison team in developing an action plan, training staff and making all necessary adjustments to ensure that the care we provide is accessible and effective for this special group of our community. By achieving this award, it reflects the Trust’s commitment to put all patients at the centre of what we do.”

Commenting on the award, Graham Duff, strategic lead nurse from the Health Liaison Team, Hertfordshire County Council said:

“This is the first Purple Star awarded to a department at the New QEII hospital and as a team we were very pleased to work with ambulatory care to help them achieve this. It is not only recognition of the hard work and commitment that the hospital staff showed throughout their training, but it is also an acknowledgement of their determination to achieve parity in health care access for adults with a learning disability. We know that this is important work as people from this vulnerable patient group are still prematurely dying from treatable illnesses, but this is another important step in addressing this issue.”