Health checks for people with learning disabilities toolkit

 

Purpose of the Step by Step toolkit for annual health checks for people with learning disabilities

People with learning disabilities (LD) have poorer physical and mental health than other people and die younger. Many of these deaths are avoidable and not inevitable. 

Annual Health Checks can identify undetected health conditions early, ensure the appropriateness of ongoing treatments and establish trust and continuity care.

GPs and practice nurses have the much needed generalist skills to help people with LD get timely access to increasing complex health systems.

Who is this toolkit for?

The toolkit collects guidance and resources to help GPs, practice nurses and the primary administration team organise and perform quality Annual Health Checks on people with a learning disability.

The toolkit has been developed in partnership with the Clinical Innovation And Research Centre. Please send any comments or suggestions to circ@rcgp.org.uk

How to Organise the Annual Health Check

The organisation of Annual Health Checks needs some planning in order to make the checks work, both for practices and for people with learning disabilities. These resources are based on experience from other practices that you can adapt for local circumstances.

Performing the Annual Health Check step by step

The aim of the Step-by-step guide to Health Checks for people with a learning disability is to help GPs, practice nurses and the primary administration team organise and perform quality Annual Health Checks on people with a learning disability.

The NHS Directly Enhanced scheme (DES) offers an Annual Health Check for adults and young people aged 14 or above with learning disabilities. The aim is to identify who may need more health support and who may otherwise have health conditions that go undetected.

Mental health and behavioural issues

This guide aims to help you consider potential causes of behavioural changes for people with learning disabilities, especially those who are non-verbal and more severe forms of LD. This includes managing mental health issues.

Syndrome Specific Medical health checks

Guides to syndrome specific issues

These guides detail syndrome specific issues that can affect people with a learning disability.

Definition, diagnosis and legislative framework

These resources give guidance on the definition of learning disability, the diagnosis of learning disabilities and the legislative framework that applies to the people with a learning disability.

Resources

These guides present a range of external guidance and resources on learning disability.

Pre Health Check questionnaires

Background of the toolkit

This toolkit was developed in partnership with the Clinical Innovation and Research Centre (CIRC) and authored by:

  • Dr Matt Hoghton, Medical Director of CIRC, RCGP
  • Dr Kirsten Lamb, GP
  • Dr Marcus Van Dam, GP

The authors would like to thank all those who contributed to this toolkit including:

  • The RCGP CIRC Team
    • Stuart Barr, Project Manager, CIRC
    • Matt Legg, Interim Assistant Director of CIRC
    • Andrea Hart, CIRC Administrator
  • RCGP Intellectual Disabilities Professional Network
    • Dr Ella Baines, GP
    • Dr Sam Brown, GP
    • Dr Ken Courtenay, Consultant Psychiatrist, Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Trust
    • Dr Carole Buckley, RCGP Autism expert
    • Professor Umesh Chauhan, Mackenzie Chair of Primary Care, University of Central Lancashire
    • Dr Tom Howseman, GP
    • Dr Jill Rasmussen, GP
    • Dr Claire Scarlett, GP
    • Dr Dominic Slowie, English National Clinical Advisor Learning Disability & Premature Mortality
  • NHS England
    • Crispin Hebron, Clinical Lead Improving Health & Quality Learning Disability Programme
    • Kevin Elliot, Clinical Lead Improving Health & Quality Learning Disability Programme
  • Public Health England
    • Anna Marriott, Project Manager IHAL
  • University of Bristol
    • Professor Pauline Heslop, Professor of Intellectual Disabilities Studies

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