Intended for healthcare professionals

CCBYNC Open access
Practice What Your Patient is Thinking

What a patient with a learning disability would like you to know

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 05 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5296
  1. Emily Smith

Emily Smith has Down’s syndrome and is an Expert by Experience at the University of Nottingham. After a visit to an emergency department (A&E), she was referred to her general practitioner. Here she contrasts the interactions she had with the different healthcare professionals

I didn’t want to come and see you because last month I had to go to A&E when I had a funny turn in the town, and the people I saw were rude and talked to me like I was a child.

The doctor in A&E said, had I had breakfast? I said, no, not yet. He didn’t give me time to tell him I was meeting a friend for breakfast afterwards, and he said I was a “silly girl.” I don’t know why. I’m a 26 year old woman.

Sometimes in A&E people …

View Full Text