Don’t miss out. That’s the message to people in Lincolnshire with learning disabilities from NHS Lincolnshire CCG, who are being urged to tell their doctor if they have a learning disability, or someone they care for does, so they can be added to the learning disability register at their practice and offered a full health check every year.
People with learning disabilities (LD) are more likely to have undetected health conditions, however, an annual health check can help identify undetected conditions early, ensuring the appropriate treatment is given, and this is something that is offered at Lincolnshire GP practices.
In addition, being registered on a practice learning disability register means people with learning disabilities will be offered the support they need to make things easier, including extra time and support during appointments, easy read/accessible information, help making appointments, and the option to ask about a health check.
“We know that going to the doctor isn’t always easy if you have a learning disability,” explains Dr Dave Baker, GP and South West Lincolnshire Locality Lead, Lincolnshire CCG. “But contacting your practice and joining the learning disability register will help us to ensure you get the extra support you need when you see your doctor.
“This can include making appointments, help understanding your doctor and what he/she is saying about you, and longer appointments so that you have more time to talk with your doctor about how you are feeling. It will also mean that you are able to have a free health check once a year, which can help us to make sure you get the right treatment for your needs.”
In addition to helping in the early diagnosis of undetected conditions, the annual health check can also help to establish trust and continuity of care for people with learning disabilities.
“The health system can be complex but GPs and also practice nurses do have the skills to help people with learning disabilities to get timely access when they need it, and I would strongly urge anyone with learning disabilities or anyone who cares for someone with learning disabilities to get in touch with their practice if they are not already registered on their learning disabilities register. Remember – don’t miss out,” adds Dr Baker.
There is more information available on the Mencap website including videos and guides www.mencap.org.uk/dontmissout