Care for someone with a learning disability? Don’t let them miss out

Posted on: 22 June 2018

If you care for adults and young people, aged 14 or over with a learning disability, they can get extra support when visiting their doctor – all you or they have to do is ask for their name to be added to the GP learning disability register.

You can help them do this by talking to their doctor’s surgery or you can help them complete this template letter (PDF).  Complete the letter and then give it to the doctor during their next appointment.

Once on the register they can speak to their doctor about having a free health check every year.

There are lots of reasons why they should have their annual health check, including:

  • Not always knowing if they are unwell – the doctor can spot signs that you or the individual might miss
  • Getting better treatment – for example new medication
  • It offers an opportunity for them to talk to the doctor about anything worrying them
  • The doctor can provide advice on lifestyle choices, such as diet
  • They can have more control of their own health and body

Make sure the doctor gives them a health action plan after the health check – this includes goals for them and the doctor to work towards together.

Another way that you can ensure they are getting the very best healthcare is by supporting them to give their doctor consent for their information to be shared.

With the individual’s permission, or in some cases the carer or family member’s permission, the doctor can add additional information to the individual’s Summary Care Record (SCR).

Everyone has an SCR – speak to the doctor about the individual giving consent for additional information to be stored; this can include details of their learning disability, any physical/sensory disability, communication needs, contact details of a carer or next of kin etc. It allows all health professionals who care for them to know their latest needs and requirements.

Download supporter’s and easy read guides and posters from the Mencap website

3 comments on “Care for someone with a learning disability? Don’t let them miss out

  1. Debo Sellis says:

    ONE story.
    Share work and care plan.
    No wasting time, effort and life having to repeat your case.
    Scrutiny will be interested to see how this goes. Wishing all well.

  2. Katherine stocker says:

    We have done this with the aid of our community disability nurse who put a lot of work into it however the same is not so from the surgery with nurses or gp they really do need to do refresher course on Sen needs as they totally did not get the point and made it more anxious for the patient. We had arranged to do check up then do injection had visual aids etc check up fine by nurse but couldn’t understand why she needed the social story went to go for injection which had been planned for weeks for her to say I don’t give injection didn’t even ask someone else to do it just rebook but then she said about self checking for lumps but she wouldn’t examine him now as that considered inappropriate honestly he can’t wipe his bottom let alone check for lumps. Totally gutted and let down best of it is the gp said she also had a austic child well then she should of known better. Three weeks later we got the injection. Gp nurses & receptionist all need to be aware of Sen and do regular course also the same methods can help with dementia patients and patients who don’t speak English visual aids can reassure people . More work needs to be done

    • Dear Katherine, thank you for taking the time to write.

      We advise that you try and resolve the issues with the practice directly by either contacting the practice manager or to NHS England as commissioners of GP services. You can contact the NHS England complaints team by post at:

      NHS England
      PO Box 16738
      Redditch
      B97 9PT

      Email: england.contactus@nhs.net
      Phone: 0300 311 22 33

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Posted in: Health and Wellbeing