People with learning disabilities often have complex health needs that without proper care and support can reduce their quality of life. It also means that adults with a learning disability or autism can die up to 20 years younger than the general population.
Healthwatch has worked with key partners (Bristol, North Somerset and South Glos Clinical Commissioning Group, Southern Brooks and South Glos Council) to help ensure more people with learning disabilities in South Glos, and further afield attend their annual health check-up with their GP.
They can fill in the health checklist with help from their family or carers, which can be an important tool to encourage people to open up and seek advice on any worrying or longstanding symptoms.
Take-up of the annual health check-up with a GP is less than 50 per cent in the area (estimated at 36 per cent).
Our Improving Outcomes for People with Learning Disabilities report, which outlines how we worked to produce the checklist and ensure it is publicised to make an impact, will be presented at the next meeting of South Glos Council's Health Scrutiny Committee in June.
Our new report looks at how people with learning disabilities can live longer, healthier lives by encouraging GPs to use the health checklist regularly.
It has already been uploaded to GP online resource Teamsnet ready for them to promote it with their patients. Other ways of circulating it are recommended below:-
That the Checklist is shared widely between Voluntary Sector Partners
That services promote the resource on social media to encourage conversations around LD Annual Health Checks and Health Assessment Programme for Seniors
That steps are taken to ensure GPs and Practice Managers make good use of the Checklist by sharing with People with learning disabilities and their carers
or download the Learning Disability checklist below