Book an annual health check
People with learning disabilities and their carers are being urged to make sure they visit their GP for an annual health check to help them stay well and ensure any potential issues are picked up early.
The five CCGs in Norfolk and Waveney are reminding anyone who is aged 14 or over and has a learning disability to take up the chance for a free check at their doctor’s surgery each year.
The call comes during learning disabilities awareness week, which runs until Sunday (24 June), and this year aims to make it easier for people with a learning disability to get good healthcare in hospital.
During the checks, the GP will check a patient’s weight, heart rate and blood pressure, as well as asking questions about their lifestyle and mental health. They will also review any medication the patient is taking and make sure they are successfully managing any long-term conditions they may have, such as asthma or diabetes.
The checks are designed to give GPs the chance to monitor the patient’s health and pick up any issues early, in turn making sure they receive the right treatment and care.
In addition, people with learning disabilities and their carers are also being encouraged to tell their doctor if they have a learning disability so that they can be added to a register which shows they may need extra support and advice.
Dr Ardyn Ross from East Norfolk Medical Practice said: “Evidence shows that people with learning disabilities can suffer poorer health as it is more difficult for them to access help and support. That is why it is so important to they visit their GP and ask for an annual health check.
“The health check gives GPs an important opportunity to review all aspects of the patient’s health, and can also help them to pick up any issues at an early stage so that treatment can begin quickly.
“We would encourage anyone with a learning disability, or their carers, to get in touch with their GP if they have not already had a check this year to discuss making an appointment. They are welcome to bring a carer or friend along to the appointment.”
To find out more about health checks for people with learning disabilities go to: https://www.mencap.org.uk/advice-and-support/health/dont-miss-out/dont-miss-out-annual-health-checks