Becoming a Treat Me Well Champion
Elizabeth Parham graduated from King’s with a Postgraduate Diploma in Adult Nursing. Last summer, she became a Treat Me Well Champion for Mencap. The Treat Me Well campaign aims to transform the way people with a learning disability are treated in hospital.
Last summer, during Learning Disability Awareness Week, Elizabeth visited the UK Houses of Parliament as part of a team of health care professionals, Mencap representatives and service users, to talk to MPs about how they will be working to improve care for people with learning disabilities.
Here’s Elizabeth on why she decided to become a champion:
‘I've had a keen interest in improving inpatient services for people with learning disabilities or autism or both for a long time. My older sister has Down's syndrome, and I've seen her receive fantastic care and some inadequate care - the latter I think almost always due to a lack of confidence and education.
The publication of Mencap's Death by Indifference report (2012) and later the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (2018), is what really pushed me to solidify my role as an advocate and representative for positive change.
I have always admired Mencap, and was thrilled when I saw their Treat Me Well campaign on Twitter: a campaign aimed specifically at healthcare professionals who want to improve inpatient services for people with a learning disability.
The campaign recognises that we can see the urgency of the problem and have a keen desire to fix it, but just need the resources to do so. It unites a community of passionate healthcare professionals who are given the tools to then spread the word to their colleagues. I am incredibly proud to wear the Treat Me Well badge and am excited to contribute to the changes we urgently need!
My duties so far have included a visit to Parliament during Learning Disability Awareness Week, at which a group of us explained what a positive difference this campaign can make."
Visit the Mencap website to find out more about the Treat Me Well campaign and to become a Champion.
Elizabeth was interviewed in June 2018. This article was updated in February 2019 to reflect that Elizabeth has now graduated from King's.