Interviewer: Professor Northway, thank you very much for
taking the time to record this interview with us today.
You recently delivered an excellent talk for the collection titled:
'The role of the nurse in supporting health
and well-being for people with learning disabilities'.
We thought it would be a good idea to follow up with a short interview,
given the importance of the topic and the lack of awareness to it,
as is quite clear from your talk.
Let me, therefore, start by asking you:
why is it so particularly important to focus
on the health needs of people with learning disabilities?
Prof. Northway: I think as a starting point,
it's probably helpful if I just say what I mean by the term 'learning disabilities',
because I think that's the term which we would use within the UK,
but I know that in other countries
it's perhaps used to refer to other client groups.
When I talk about people with learning disabilities,
I'm talking about people who perhaps in other countries
would be referred to as having 'intellectual disabilities'.
I think what's happened over the last two or
three decades is that we've become more and more aware
that this particular group of people experience a lot of health inequalities.
As we've got more evidence over the years, what's happened
is that we've come to understand that some of those inequalities are
not an inevitable part of having a learning or intellectual disability,
but they're caused by a whole range of barriers which people experience.
Interviewer: What are the most burning issues, in your opinion,
that are currently preventing people with learning
disabilities from getting appropriate health care?
Prof. Northway: There is a range of issues.