What would help you relax when visiting the doctor or hospital?

To read on My Life, My Choice website:

Note: In the UK, the term of ‘Learning disability’ is used instead of ‘Intellectual disability’.

How can we make people who have a learning disability less anxious about using the NHS?

By Kate Evans On


As Tracey says, many people with learning disabilities tell us they get anxious about going to see a doctor or going to hospital.

But wait, doesn’t almost everyone get anxious about going to the doctor or to hospital? I certainly do.

As Dominic points out, this is yet another example where it turns out that people who have a learning disability are not that different from everybody else.

Here are some things that NHS staff can do…

  • Try and understand what people are worried about by talking to them about it.
  • Arrange tours of hospitals for people who are coming in for planned procedures, which give people an opportunity to meet the staff who are going to be looking after them.
  • Follow the example of Newcastle Hospitals and produce YouTube videos about what having certain procedures involves.
  • Explain what you’re going to do before you do it.
  • Use someone’s Hospital Passport.

We asked some My Life My Choice members: “What would help you relax when visiting the doctor or hospital? What could the doctor or nurse do?”

Dawn says: “Talk to you calmly.”

Paul says: “Make eye contact and speak in a calm and simple way.”

Joan says: “Don’t pester people. Listen to them and let them speak in their own time.”

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

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