Michael’s Story.

Posted by YorkPeople

Here Michael shares his reflections about  some recent training we did for York St John for Occupational Therapist Students.

Michael shared his story about how he has come to be part of the learning disability team at York Hospital. However, Michael’s story is linked to Kate’s.  Kate was a friend and colleague from York People First.  Michael describes her as a fun person, fiercely independent  ‘who made us laugh’, loved to dance, do drama and speak up for people with learning difficulties.  Kate lived on her own, with support, but Michael feel’s she didn’t always get the right support and information.

In April 2018, Kate started to experience some breathing difficulties.   She was not sure what to do.  She asked a neighbour for help. She delayed going into hospital, she was not a fan. She sadly died later in hospital from a combination of breathing and other complications.   

This had a big impact on Michael, as you would imagine.  He thought long and hard about some of the things that had happened and how this could have been different. Michael wonders if Kate had had more support at home, more accessible information about how to manage health issues and how the NHS supports people with learning difficulties in hospital. 

So Michael thought he would do something about it.  On seeing an advert for NHS volunteering opportunities in 2019 he applied to help out in York hospital giving support on the ward and meeting and greeting people as they come in.   And then having made such a positive impact in 2022, he applied and was given a paid role in the Learning Disability Team.  Michael’s job is to visit patients who have learning disabilities, check they are getting the support they need, helping with hospital passports and communicating any issues with staff.

Michael has made a big impact.  He thinks about Kate as he does his job and is focused on working with colleagues in the NHS to make a difference and ensure people with learning disabilities in York Hospital are supported equally, accessibly and given the best possible care. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content