Beth Fields, Charge Nurse at Cedar Vale, one of our services in the Midlands, has been working hard to support positive change and autism awareness within the local community.
Beth believes strongly in advocating for people and ensuring equality. This does not mean that everybody is treated the same, but rather that adjustments are made so each person has the same opportunities, with access to the same community facilities. Beth works with people, their families, the team and the wider community to raise awareness and improve access for people with autism.
Beth works to share best practice, ensuring access and outcomes are improved for everyone with autism, not just the people she supports. Beth takes the opportunity to reach out to other services across the community, including the police, GPs, schools, A&E departments and leisure centres, to provide free training to raise awareness, improve access and therefore improve the service provided to people with autism.
These sessions cover what autism is, how this may present in an individual and ways to support communication. This increases the quality of life for the people she supports, as well as other people with autism in the community, as people have greater choice and independence, and improved outcomes as a result.
Feedback has been positive, with one police officer who received the training saying, “I have learnt to be more understanding and patient when involved with people with ASD.” Beth’s ongoing aim is to ensure inequalities are continually reduced and that people in her care and in the community have the same access as everyone else to healthcare and community facilities.