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Caring for patients with disabilities during the Paralympic Games

Patients with a disability will get the best possible care during the Paralympic Games next week thanks to additional training for medics.

From basic sign language and lip reading skills to how to manoeuvre a wheelchair, staff are now well prepared to care for the additional people in London with a disability.

Training officer, Andy Summers, said: “Patients will receive better care as a result of staff being more aware of the different types of disabilities and the best way to care and treat the patient.

“For example, we’ve worked with Mencap on how to recognise and treat people who may have a learning disability.”

There was also training for people who have communication difficulties. Staff have been given a guide to help improve interactions with patients who may have learning disabilities or don’t speak English. The guide has a number of pictures and illustrations that will help find out what is wrong with someone who may not be able to explain themselves.

Andy said: “The Back-Up Trust, which supports people with spinal cord injuries, provided some wheelchair skills training where staff learnt how to manoeuvre a wheelchair properly, getting up and down curbs as well as putting it away.”

Deputy Director of Operations, Jason Killens, said: “We are looking forward to supporting the Paralympic Games over the next few weeks and are well prepared to provide emergency care for anyone who may need it.”

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Editors notes:

  • 4,280 athletes are expected in London and more than 1,800 are wheelchair users.
  • Around 340 staff are dedicated to working in Games venues. Of these 140 are from other ambulance services.
  • For further information about the London Ambulance Service or this news release please contact the communications department on 020 7783 2286.
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