Palliative Care for People with Learning Disabilities Network (PCPLD) has been shortlisted for the Community Organisation Award for Disability at the National Diversity Awards 2021.

More than 52,000 people were nominated this year with 126 nominees being recognised for their various achievements nationwide. 

Gemma Allen, Chair of the PCPLD Network, said: “On behalf of the PCPLD Network we are delighted to have been nominated and shortlisted for the National Diversity Awards 2021. This is a testimony to the hard work, passion and commitment from the board of trustees, specialist advisory group, GRASSroots group and members.

"It is an honour to be considered and shortlisted for this prestigious award and winning this would help increase the profile of PCPLD Network and it would be wonderful to share this news with our members and network. But most importantly it would be a tribute to the dedication of the individuals with learning disabilities who have worked tirelessly with and for PCPLD Network to improve palliative and end of life care. This nomination is for them! Congratulations and good luck to all our fellow finalists.”

Further reading

PCPLD Network was established in 1998 by a small group of learning disability and palliative care professionals who were concerned by their experiences that people with learning disabilities did not access the same quality of palliative and end of life care as the rest of the population.

Since then, the network has grown significantly in both size and status, within the UK and more recently having an international presence with members from Europe, Canada and Australia. PCPLD are an inclusive and diverse network and charity. People with learning disabilities, families and carers work equally alongside the board of trustees to tell their stories, providing lived experience expertise and supporting the network.

Confronting the injustice and discrimination faced by people with a learning disability at the end of their lives 

PCPLD Network have held a monthly series of webinars during the pandemic on end of life care for people with learning disabilities. The recordings have been accessed by hospices, acute nursing teams, community nursing, universities for health and social care professionals and students as well as families. 

These webinars provided practical (but evidence-based) advice on topics such as supporting people dying of Covid at home, how to recognise pain in people with communication difficulties, and how to provide bereavement support during Covid. They also challenged blanket DNACPR decisions and campaigned for the need of people with learning disabilities to be prioritised for vaccination, supporting GRASSroots members to speak for themselves.

Through providing free webinars PCPLD have reached out to a wider international audience and are a fundamental element of improving health inequalities, the way people with learning disabilities live, die and grieve.

The awards ceremony will take place at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral in February.