Twenty-five people from across Scotland (specialist dietitians, learning disability service providers, community and voluntary sector staff) attended this meeting to hear about and discuss food and health activities. The audience heard from:
- Dr Craig Melville from the Institute of Health and Wellbeing who discussed obesity and the Institute’s weight management programme for people with learning disabilities. Here is Dr Craig Melville’s presentation
- Brian Smith, from the Scottish Social Services Council who discussed training and National Occupational Standards for learning disability staff. Here is Brian Smith’s presentation
- Sarah McCashey from PUSH who discussed the progress of providing training locally based on the SCLD Healthy Eating, Healthy Living training pack in Perth and Kinross. Here is Sarah McCashey’s presentation
- Caroline Hamilton from the Joint Health Improvement Team (Public Health Borders) discussed the legacy of the ‘A Healthier Me’ programme in the Borders. Here is Caroline Hamilton’s presentation and most recent report about A Healthier Me
Participants attending the meeting were arranged into four groups and took part in three discussion topics. Summary of the main messages from participants’ discussions for the whole day were:
Overall, contributions from those present emphasised the importance of carers, both paid and unpaid, to the improvement of health for people with learning disabilities. There is still a sense that healthy weight and nutrition is not prioritised by carers and services, for a range of reasons that are outlined in the meeting notes. It is important that care providers see health promotion as within their remit and that carers are given the training and support they need to encourage and enable healthy eating and activity. While there is a need to respect individuals’ choices, this should not be used as an excuse to neglect a duty of care. We heard many positive examples of approaches that are effective and we hope that this good practice can be further shared and replicated.
Here are the full meeting notes