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Learning disabilities patients gain new champion

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A Special Olympian has been appointed by the government to champion the needs of people with learning disabilities.

Scott Watkin, formerly co-chair of the Isle of Wight Learning Disability Partnership Board, has been named as the Department of Health’s new co-national director for learning disabilities.

He will work lead work on implementing the DH’s learning disability strategy, Valuing People Now, which was announced in January, and will work jointly with the national director for learning disabilities Anne Williams.

Mr Watkin, 27, is a Special Olympian, winning medals at the Special Olympic Games for the 200 metres and the standing long jump.

He will take up his new post, which will run for three years, on 12 May. He replaces the first incumbent of the position, Nicola Smith, who was appointed in 2006.

Mr Watkin said: ‘As co-national director I would like to see that the lives of people with a learning disability change for the better, and that we deliver services in a more personalised way.

‘I also would like to see that people with a learning disability have the same rights and equal opportunities as everyone else. They should be included in the community,’ he said.

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