Four out of five people in Humber and North Yorkshire aged 14 and over who are registered with a learning disability have had an annual health check in the last year – exceeding national targets.
The latest data shows more than 7,600 people – just over 80 per cent of those who are registered with a learning disability in our area – completed their annual health check in 2022-2023.
The figures for the Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership are well above the national NHS Long Term Plan ambition for at least 75 per cent of people aged 14 or over having a Learning Disability Health Check.
They’re also a significant improvement on numbers for the previous year, when Humber and North Yorkshire achieved a rate of 71 per cent.
Paula South, Director of Nursing for Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, said: “This is an incredible achievement for our region, and it is thanks to all the work undertaken by our Transforming Care Programmes and Primary Care Networks (PCNs).
“These annual check-ups are a great way for patients with a Learning Disability to get to know their doctor and discuss any issues they might have to get the treatment needed to stay well.
“If you or someone you care for is on your doctor’s learning disability register and your GP contacts you for one of these routine checks, I strongly encourage you to attend and take up this free offer.”
Learning Disability Health Checks provide an opportunity to spot any health problems sooner and ensure patients have timely access to medicines and treatment – as people with learning disabilities often have poorer physical and mental health than other people.
Anyone aged 14 and over who is on their doctor’s learning disability register is invited into their surgery to have their health check. GP practices actively encourage anyone who believes they may have a learning disability to get in touch.
During a health check, patients may see different health professionals, including a doctor, nurse, pharmacist or healthcare assistant. During the check, the professional will check a patient’s weight, heart rate and blood pressure and may ask for a urine or blood sample.
They will ask about general health and wellbeing and may also ask about conditions that can be more common for people who have a learning disability, such as epilepsy, constipation or problems with swallowing (dysphagia), or with eyesight or hearing.
The doctor or nurse might also discuss medicines to ensure the patient is given the right medicines and check to see if vaccinations are up to date.
You can find out more about Learning Disability Health Checks on the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/learning-disabilities/annual-health-checks/.
Meanwhile, this year’s Learning Disability Awareness Week runs from 19 – 25 June, and Mencap wants to bust myths about living life with a learning disability. Members of the public can find out more about the awareness week and how to get involved on the website here.