Increasing health checks for people with learning disabilities
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Increasing health checks for people with learning disabilities

Susan Turner Project manager, Public Health Observatory (Improving Health and Lives), National Development Team for Inclusion, Bath

People with learning disabilities can face significant barriers when accessing health services, and this contributes to poorer health and unmet needs. Evidence shows that annual health checks carried out in GP surgeries are a good way of detecting unmet health needs and result in targeted actions to meet these needs. However, even though a directed enhanced service (DES) is in place in England that requires primary care trusts to offer GPs the opportunity to carry out health checks, less than half of people eligible under the DES received a health check in 2009/10, and uptake was variable across the country. This article explores ways in which health checks can be increased, thus reducing health inequalities in people with learning disabilities. The article is based on the work of the Improving Health and Lives project.

Nursing Standard. 26, 7, 35-38. doi: 10.7748/ns2011.

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review