OUT NOW: Carers, Health All Together (CHAT) Reports – Co production between clinicians and family carers of people with a learning disability to support their health

A 2018 study found that around 36% of people with a learning disability live with their family

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Carers Support West Sussex have undertaken a joint project called CHAT around bringing families, friends and other carers of people with a Learning Disability together with the paid workforce. Over 500 carers were contacted about what they would like to have more information about, and this resulted in a series of co-produced events together with resources produced which have enabled carers and professionals to work together equally to share experiences and learn from each other.

This project enabled the different groups of people to improve their understanding of each others’ perspectives through the planning, development and delivery of specialist health events for carers of people with a learning disability across West Sussex.

The project also identified how to help carers become more confident, resilient and supported. This results in improving the potential health outcomes and quality of lives for the person that they care for. There is no one “fix” or “universal” approach but this work is an example of how to help bridge understanding and contextual gaps. It also highlighted the need for a joint approach between careers and health professionals.

Here is what some of the participants told us that they had got from attending the CHAT events:

Help is always available – it’s knowing where to look. Thank you.

I am not alone…there is help available!

…helpful information, meeting and speaking to new parents, carers and professionals

Being in a supportive environment with other carers and professionals whose main aim was to listen. Being talked to and not at

Info about services, other people’s ideas and experiences, communication aids, tools, apps, transition plans

The workshops are worthwhile, sociable and informative

To find out more please read the reports produced:

Full report

Easy read report

If you would like to discuss this work please email either Viki Baker who is Clinical Director for Learning Disability and Neurodevelopmental Services at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation or Penny Jenkins who is Locality Manager Crawley / Mid Sussex at Carers Support.

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