For the last few months, MLMC member and vice chair of trustees, Paul Scarrott, has been working as the co-chair of the Transforming Care Partnership board. This high up position is an important development in the inclusion of people with learning disabilities in care provision because it means that care organisations are actually listening to users.
Paul has been involved in Transforming Care since it began. He said that the first few times he went to a meeting, he thought, “they aren’t listening to us”, but that now it is much better. Paul is now even more involved and is the co-chair of the Transforming Care Partnership board.
Paul was very proud to join the board and says “it is very good, I am more involved, I can tell people to be quiet and can make sure everybody’s voice is heard”. Unlike the person who held the position before him, Paul says, as co-chair he is making sure that everyone gets to speak. To do this, Paul introduced a traffic light system where members of the board hold up coloured cards to ask to speak and to show their feelings on what has been said. This system helps to make sure that all people get a chance to speak, and is especially important for allowing Pam - another MLMC member involved in the board and the only other board member with learning disabilities - to speak up.
It is important to have people with learning disabilities on boards such as this, Paul says, because they are the expert on how it feels to be on the receiving end of the care provided. Paul is able to speak to other people with learning disabilities to bring their issues to the board, and to explain to them how it is working so that there is better communication between care providers and care users. It is also important, Paul says, because “I speak up for other people with learning disabilities”.
Paul says he is “very proud” of what he is doing on the Transforming Care Partnership Board because “now I’ve got a voice, and I’m helping more people”.
Paul also says that it is important to get more people with Learning Disabilities onto care boards and onto more different organisation’s boards so that they are better represented. Paul himself is also a member of the Thames Valley Police Board and an Oxford Transport Board.
Hopefully in the future we will be able to celebrate more MLMC members and other people with learning disabilities expressing their voice in high up positions and on important care boards. For now, everyone at My Life My Choice would like to say well done to Paul for this fantastic achievement and hope that he is able to carry on the good work in the last 9 months of the Transforming Care Programme.