Dr Elizabeth Tilley, Associate Head of School for Research in the WELS School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, was the academic advisor to a new OU/BBC co-production, Panorama: Will the NHS Care for Me? In the programme, Line of Duty actor and campaigner, Tommy Jessop, investigates why people with a learning disability are more twice as likely to die from avoidable causes than the rest of the population.
“The poor care and treatment many people receive, combined with negative attitudes towards learning disability, lie behind this dreadful statistic,” Dr Tilley commented. “The programme investigates the discrimination that many people with a learning disability face when receiving hospital care, which has led to so many tragic outcomes.”
Dr Tilley’s research focuses on the lived experiences of people with a learning disability. She is particularly interested in how research conducted in collaboration can help us to better understand and address the social and health inequalities people face.
Dr Tilley continued:
“While the Panorama programme investigates the discrimination faced by people with a learning disability in hospitals, research has shown that these inequalities in healthcare often begin long before someone steps through a hospital door.”
In an online interactive, created by Dr Tilley and the OU’s Broadcast and Partnerships team, these wider inequalities are highlighted, showing how the way many people with a learning disability are treated throughout their lives can have a significant impact on their health and wellbeing.
To learn more about the challenges for people with learning disabilities in enjoying equal rights, access the free online course 'Exploring Learning Disabilities: Supporting Belonging' written by Dr Tilley alongside people with learning disabilities and family carers.
Panorama: Will the NHS Care for Me first aired on Monday 10 October on BBC1 and is now available on BBC iPlayer.