What we do makes such a difference

August 4, 2018

So often we hear complaints about the NHS that I feel it is important that when something is done well we should shout about that too. This email is written from the family of Xxxxxx to tell you about the wonderful help and support we have received and thank you for the difference your team, in particular Dawn, have made to our lives.





Earlier this year Dawn, one of the learning disability nurses, picked up (at one of the coffee mornings Xxxxx had been introduced to by the team) that Xxxxx was looking unwell and jaundiced and arranged an appointment with the doctor immediately. Xxxxx was admitted to hospital straight away and diagnosed with a stone but also the tests revealed what later was found to be cancer of the kidney. From first picking up there was a problem Dawn has been brilliant. I am Xxxxx niece and live 40 miles away, my parents (Xxxxx sister and brother-in-law) live closer but are in their 80's and suffer health problems so without Dawn's help I don't know how we would have coped. Before writing this email I listed down all the ways Dawn (and her colleague John) have helped, here are some of the ways Dawn has helped us:


  • Picking up that Xxxxx looked unwell and encouraging/arranging for him to see a doctor.

  • Supporting Xxxxx on his initial admission into hospital, explaining to the staff his needs and making sure Xxxxx understood what was going on and reassuring him.

  • Accompanying Xxxxx to follow up appointments/tests whilst a diagnosis was being sought.

  • Supporting Xxxxx (and my mum and dad) when cancer was diagnosed. Being there to explain the medical terms and make sure that xxxxx understood the diagnosis and proposed surgery and also to provide emotional support, Xxxxx quite often keeps things to himself so not to 'bother' anyone. Dawn seemed to break through this barrier and gain his trust.

  • Accompanying Xxxxx  to  hospital on the day of his operation, giving support and reassurance. Making sure the staff at hospital were aware of Xxxxx special needs.

  • Visiting Xxxxx in hospital and working with the staff to set up homecare when he was discharged from hospital (Dawn showed her tenacity here, and the homecare enabled xxxxx to recover much quicker than I feel he would have otherwise).

  • Organised alarm for Xxxxx to wear in his home, giving him confidence especially when he was feeling unwell. Introducing Xxxxx to local groups where he can meet people, have his lunch, enjoy outings and social activities. We have noticed he is much more outgoing whereas other than his small family he used to be somewhat isolated.  


This list doesn't cover everything but hopefully it will give you an idea of how professional and caring Dawn (and John) have been in helping Xxxxx and us his family get through this tough time, and also improving Xxxxx  quality of life going forward. My parents also feel that with the support Xxxxx has been given he is better equipped to cope when they are no longer around (my mum has worried about this for a long time).



So please pass on a BIG thank you to Dawn and John, every time I have thanked her she just says 'it's my job' but we all know that some people just go the extra mile and that makes all the difference and Dawn is one of those special people.



So have you got evidence of the impact you have made as a learning disability nurse?  If so then send it over to the team at learningdisabilitynurse@yahoo.com

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