Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells launches campaign to improve care for patients with autism

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust has launched a new campaign that aims to improve care for patients with autism and learning disabilities.

Entitled ‘Different. Not Less,’ the campaign aims to promote a ‘better’ understanding of autism and learning disabilities, as well as to support the delivery of equality in care for all patients, the trust says. 

The campaign provides information about autism and learning disabilities – including guidance on some of the do’s, don’ts and appropriate language to use – and signposts useful sites.  

Additionally, the trust has organised autism reality experience training for staff to increase the understanding of the hypersensitivity that can be caused actions of others and the hospital environment.  

According to the trust, the training offers the experience of what autism is like, as well as how simple changes to clinical practice and the hospital environment can improve the hospital experience for people with autism and learning disabilities.  

Philippa Routs, Learning Disability Liaison Nurse, commented on the new initiative: “There are currently 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK and 700,000 autistic people in the UK. Many of these experience difficulties accessing healthcare, especially when unwell. 

“Even summoning up the courage to make an appointment or talking on the telephone can be difficult. This campaign aims to help us better understand autism and ensure all our patients receive the best level of care during their hospital visit.” 

Miles Scott, Chief Executive, added: “We are proud to launch the Different. Not less. campaign here at the Trust. Our staff always strive to deliver the best level of care for all of our patients, but there is always opportunity to learn and improve the care we provide.” 

In other related news, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has appointed a new Autism Programme Lead for its Lincolnshire health and social care system.