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Manchester Learning Disability Partnership Board

How accessible are our swimming pools?

Minutes of the November Meeting Issue 51 • Free • Every two months November and December 2012

w w w. p a r t n e r s h i p b o a r d . o r g


Dates of 2013 Meetings

Tuesday 15 January Tuesday 12 March Tuesday 14 May Tuesday 9 July Tuesday 10 September Tuesday 12 November We meet at Manchester People First’s offices: 3 Broughton Street Cheetham Hill Manchester M8 8RF

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Phone or Fax: (0161) 839-3700

Web: www.manpf.org

Email: mcrpeoplefirst@googlemail.com

The Partnership Board’s web site is at: www.partnershipboard.org

The Partnership Board was sorry to hear about the death of Care Manager Dave Bennet who was 52. Councillor Glynn Evans extended his condolances.

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What we did at the November Manchester Learning Disability Partnership Board meeting Manchester Swimming Pool Audit In 2004, the swimming pools run by Manchester Leisure were looked at to see how accessible they were for people with a physical or learning disability. This year, Audit Assistants and members from Manchester People First and physiotherapists looked at them again to see if things had changed for the better. They visited a mix of older and newer pools in different parts of the city. They saw how accessible they were by looking at: • • • • • • •

Customer service How helpful the staff were Car parking Showers Changing areas Hoists Cleanliness

The pools were phoned up before a visit and asked how accessible they were. It was found that the information given by leisure staff was not always reliable. They did not always have the technical knowledge about what made a pool accessible to customers with a disability. Staff sometimes gave inconsistent answers, and some even offered to transfer customers without knowing them, which could be dangerous. 4 of the pools had fully accessible changing areas, but only 2 of these had fully working facilities.

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Only two out of the 7 pools were fully accessible: North City in Harpurhey and the Aquatics Centre in the city centre. But the Aquatics Centre was let down because the accessible changing room was nowhere near the pool (and labelled as the sluice room!). North City and Wythenshawe had the best customer service, but unfortunately Wythenshawe does not have a standard hoist with a detachable chair, but they are looking at this. Also the water at Wythenshawe was not very warm. In the city the only pool that could be seen as being very accessible with no big problems was North City. This may be because the physiotherapist Sue Menzies was involved in its design. Self-advocates and professionals want to be involved in designing pools. Sue Menzies is hoping to go to planning meetings for any new pools that are built. Some pools are too cold and may cause muscle spasms. Manchester Royal Infirmary’s hydrotherapy pool closed last year for renovations and is still closed. MLDP managed to get a place at a hydrotherapy pool at a school, but this closes during the holidays and people need regular exercise. Garry said he will email Ed Dyson the Chair of Commissioning, to find out why the MRI pool has not reopened. John asked if things are better than in 2004 when the pools were last audited? They are not.

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Bernie felt that without good facilities it would not be possible for a parent with an individual budget to manage a swimming trip. This is very important for people who live in the community and do not get any other services.


Councillor Evans asked how long the chair at Abraham Moss had been broken? It was broken before Christmas, and MLDP are working with Claire Goatman from the Council’s Leisure Services department to get it repaired. Sue said people are supposed to look after themselves, but it is hard to keep healthy when there is only one good accessible pool in the city. The further people have to travel, especially if they need adapted transport, the harder it is. Sue would be happier if there were more local options. Councillor Evans said renovations of old pools may be on hold, but hopefully there will be 2 new pools built and designs can be looked at to make sure they are acessible. Sue is also looking at the use of existing pools to take up slots when they are closed. Sue Menzies thanked Manchester People First for their help in carrying out the pool audits.

Young Adults and Working Lives Project Loreto College Sixth Form Ann Clynch, the Principal of Loreto College told us about this. Loreto College has 2,400 students who are mainly doing A Levels. 65 students have moderate or severe or learning difficulties, and are in the ‘Pathways to Independence’ department for 16 to 19 years olds. The funding from Manchester City Council’s Adult Social Care Department helps the college get over some of the barriers between Children’s and Adult’s entitlement. It was the first place in the country to do this.

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Angela Syrat told us more about the Pathways to Independence course. There are 40 Manchester students on the course and they mix with other students in the college. An audit of students came up with these priorities for the course: To live independently and have a social life, to have a job and to travel independently. Students work with Phoenix, a supported employment agency, who help people into jobs. GPS tracking is used in independent travel training. A big part of the course is to overcome the loneliness and isolation that some students feel outside of college life. This is done by normalisation and taking part in different projects. There are lots of work placement options developed with employers all over Manchester. The students are involved in Loreto’s football team and podcasts for Loreto Radio. A café called ‘Safe Gorton’ at Sacred Heart and St. Frances has opened, it is part of the course and is an inclusive place for people to mix. People can also get involved in gardening and growing vegetables in a polytunnel. There is a Pathways Laundry service, where sports and science departments at the College pay for their kit or lab coats to be washed by Pathways students. The ‘Projekts Skatepark’ started in 2004, and got funding from Sport England to get 3 times bigger and have a café.

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Every Saturday morning a session is run for anyone with a learning disability. Young people from Pathways can have work experience at the Skatepark by working in the café, which has been adapted from two containers.


There is a link worker who continues to work during the holidays with the students and also oversees all the projects. The Link worker stops people from losing skills over the holidays and also checks on people’s progress for at least 3 years after they leave the course. Paul asked if people worry about getting a job and then losing it and not having any benefits? Angela said that people are allowed to do ‘permitted’ work of up to 20 hours a week without losing their benefits. Sharon asked for more information about the GPS tracking which also has a panic button.

Winterbourne Report Findings Garry Parvin told us about what happened at Winterbourne Hospital and what we need to do to stop it happening again. People staying at the Winterbourne hospital were detained under the Mental Health Act. It was closed on 24 June 2011 after the Panorama television programme exposed abuse that was happening there. The Government launched reviews. Margaret Flynn the Chair of Lancashire’s Safeguarding Adults Board, wrote a report and there was a serious case review at South Gloucestershire Council. The findings were published on the 7 August 2012 and found: • Castlebeck, the organisation which ran Winterbourne, did not train its staff properly. • Managers did not do their jobs properly. • Information was not shared across organisations. • The best place to care for people with learning disabilities and autism is their home and communities where they are known.

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• More people with learning disabilities are being placed in independent hospitals for assessment and treatment. • Families should be helped to look after people with learning disabilities so they do not have to be sent away. Some abusers have been sent to prison and events at Winterbourne will change government policy. NHS Manchester and Manchester City Council feel we need services that can better support people with complex and challenging needs. Garry asked what the Partnership Board thought? Are services supporting people with learning disabilities and what should services be doing to spot people with learning disabilities who need assessment and treatment? Anna suggested running a workshop and also working with the medical profession so they understand. Manchester People First are hosting a ‘Listening Event’ as part of the government’s response to how we are can make things better. Mark said that the Winterbourne findings are on the agenda to discuss at the Management Committee. Erica said that the Challenging Behaviour Foundation have 5 DVD’s which are free to parents. Quite often customers are not picking up on staffing levels to manage the risk at home to themselves and to other children. If people cannot go out of the house they will express their frustration with challenging behaviour. Bernie said that a lot of challenging behaviour is due to frustration, and parents and services need educating.

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Together issue 51  

Manchester Learning Disability Partnership Board newsletter November and December 2012

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