Health Checks and Planning
People with learning disabilities often have poorer physical and mental health than other people. This does not need to be the case. It is important that you have regular checks to make sure that you stay healthy. Your own doctor (GP) will be able to advise you when you are due for your next check. You can contact your local doctor’s surgery and ask for a Learning Disabilities Annual Health Check. The receptionist should allow you a longer appointment time to make sure that there is enough time for the Annual Health Check to be done.
The Annual Health Check Scheme is for adults and young people aged 14 or above with learning disabilities who need more health support and who may otherwise have health conditions that go undetected. The Annual Health Check Scheme is different to the NHS Health Check programme which is for all adults aged 40 – 74 even if they do not have a learning disability and assesses their risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, diabetes and dementia every five years.
It is important that your GP makes a record of your details on the GP Learning Disability Quality and Outcomes Framework Register. All GPs have a Learning Disability Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) Register. The Qualities and Outcomes Framework means that GPs are required to establish and maintain a register of all patients with a learning disability whatever their age. Being on the GP Learning Disability Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) register is important as it means that any additional needs people have can be identified and reasonable adjustments made.
When you have seen your doctor (GP) and received your Annual Health Check your doctor will develop a document called a Health Action Plan. Having a Health Action Plan can help you to be healthy because it tells you about things you can do to stay healthy and any help you can get. The Health Action Plan will become part of your individual support plan that you, your family and support staff can all work on to make sure that you are happy and healthy.
Your GP should also make sure that your Summary Care Record is updated with additional information that explains what reasonable adjustments health and social care staff need to make when they are looking after you.
More detailed information including advice and guidance for professionals is available from the National Development Team for Improvement (NDTi). A short video has been produced by the MisFits and a link is available below.
Stopping over medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both, known as STOMP is about making sure people get the right medicine if they need it and that people get all the help they need in other ways as well. It is about encouraging people to have regular medication reviews, supporting health professionals to involve people in decisions and showing how families and social care providers can be involved. STOMP also aims to improve awareness of non-drug therapies and practical ways of supporting people whose behaviour is seen as challenging. More information is available from NHS England.
A presentation has been produced to mark the anniversary of the introduction of STOMP which may be of particular interest. NHS England Presentation
The flu jab is free to you and your carers if you have a learning disability.
Anyone can catch flu. Flu is caused by a bug called a virus. Flu can make you, your loved one or the person you care for feel ill. If someone is very ill with the flu they might even have to go to hospital.
Having the flu jab can help stop you from catching the flu and passing it onto other people.
NHS England has produced information about the importance of receiving a flu jab if you have a learning disability. A short video is available below.
For more information please see NHS England or contact your doctor to get the jab.
Health Screening is a way of finding out if you are at a higher risk of a health problem so that early treatment can be offered or information given to help you make informed decisions. Your doctor (GP) will be able to talk to you about any screening you may need. If you are worried about anything you should talk to your doctor (GP), family, support team or your Social Worker.
Building the Right Support / Transforming Care is about making sure that families and carers of people with learning disabilities have enough training to help the person they care for to get the right support.
The Building the Right Support programme is also known as the Transforming Care Programme (TCP)
For more detailed information please see the Business Area.
NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) is the name given to a package of care, which is arranged and funded solely by the NHS for individuals outside of hospital who have ongoing healthcare needs. You can receive continuing healthcare in any setting, including your own home or a care home. NHS continuing healthcare is free, unlike help from social services for which a financial charge may be made depending on your income and savings.
For more information about long-term health conditions please see the leaflet rack.