A partnership between a learning disability nurse and a psychologist has been recognised for its commitment to improving Empowerment and Inclusivity at Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s (MPFT) Mission Excellence Awards.

Learning Disability Nurse, Nathan Moore-Jones and Clinical Psychologist Dr Jo Thacker are based in Lichfield and work with adults with a learning disability. 

They have started a group for men with a learning disability who are wishing to explore their sexuality and cross dressing. Dr Thacker commented “People with a learning disability who are part of the LGBTQ+ community often experience ‘layered stigma’ as they are doubly marginalised”. The group aimed to support and empower the men. Positive outcomes for the participants included: increased awareness of LGBTQ+ issues, validation of their choices and identity, increased confidence with self-expression and the opportunity to talk about their thoughts and feelings in a confidential and supportive setting.

The judges for the Empowerment and Inclusivity award said this project was, “A brilliant, innovative and forward thinking service development which encapsulates the heart of what inclusivity is”.

Mel Watson, Head of Operations for the Specialist Group commented “This is an area within the field of learning disabilities that is only now being explored and researched on and Jo and Nathan are looking at sharing their experiences with colleagues nationally.  The group has been so successful that it is being expanded to consider other aspects of sexuality and looks to be an ongoing group as we continue to receive referrals in this area”.

Neil Carr, MPFT Chief Executive added “The annual Mission Excellence awards are one way MPFT can recognise and celebrate teams and individuals working together to make life better for our communities. We are really disappointed that due to the restrictions posed by Coronavirus this year we were unable to present the awards at a celebration event, but each winner received a trophy in recognition of their achievements.  Jo and Nathan have tackled a difficult subject with great skill and compassion and made a real difference to the lives of the service users involved”.

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