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New role created to support patients with learning disabilities at Harrogate and Ripon Hospitals

A new role has been created within Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust to support adults with learning disabilities when they visit for care at both Ripon Community Hospital and Harrogate District Hospital.

Ben Haywood joins as an Acute Liaison Nurse for People with Learning Disabilities, having moved from a similar role at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

He will be responsible for improving the experience of patients by making reasonable adjustments to enhance access to services at the hospital and by helping them better understand and prepare for various treatment options.

Ben further explained the nature of his role:

Hospitals can be frightening places for anyone, however, some people with learning disabilities will find this even more difficult as they may become anxious in new places, meeting new people and may not understand what is happening.

The service is open to anyone who has a learning disability and may benefit from this specialist support at the two hospitals.

Ben added:

A hospital visit or stay can also be very distressing for families and carers. I can offer support to them by listening to their concerns and passing these on to the appropriate staff.

You can get in contact with Ben and find out more information about this service between Monday-Thursday on 01423 553690 or by emailing Ben at

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