Care for someone with a learning disability? Don’t let them miss out
If you care for someone 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 use this template letter. Complete this letter and 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 if their doctor says they can have one, 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 in 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 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 individuals permission, or in some cases the carer or family members permission, the doctor can add additional information to the individuals Summary Care Record (SCR).
Everyone has a SCR – speak to the doctor about the individual giving consent for Additional Information (AI) 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., allows all health professionals who care for them to know their latest needs and requirements.
At Mencap, they have worked with NHS England to produce some guides to help you, or the person you support, to access better healthcare.
Download a full guide here.
Download an easy read letter template here.