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11 September 2013

Learning disability motion falls at TUC Congress 2013

The Society of Radiographers has expressed its dismay about the Trades Union Congress's attitude to a motion written to help protect a vulnerable section of the community.

The Society asked Congress to support a proposal that called for action to stop premature deaths of patients with learning difficulties. The motion fell in a vote at the TUC Congress this morning (Tuesday, 11 September).

"It is disappointing that Congress opposed our attempt to campaign on an issue that we see as important and necessary," commented Sheila Hassan, the Society's president-elect.

"We are a healthcare profession and we feel deeply about the injustice that this group of vulnerable patients have to endure. Despite the refusal of Congress to support our intentions we will continue to work with the Mencap charity and our members to stop the government ignoring this issue."

Accusing the Department of Health of a "weak response" to a report into premature deaths among people with learning disabilities, Sheila proposed a motion calling for a national learning disability mortality review body.

Mencap first raised the issue six years ago when they claimed that 1200 people with a learning disability die because of inadequate medical treatment. A report in 2009 recommended that the NHS and social care organisations urgently review their systems, as well the capacity and capability of the services provided to people with learning disabilities. Mencap claims that little or no action has been taken since.

"We will now regroup and redouble our effort to support patients who have been ignored by this government and Congress," Shelia said.

You can read more about the motion and its background here.

Notes for Editor

For more information about the SoR’s motions at TUC, or its work within the trade union movement, contact Dominic Deeson on 01227 469060 or 0795 784 5238.

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