Inviting people to a Learning Disability Health Check

On an annual basis, practices will invite all patients agreed as being eligible for a review of physical and mental health for an Annual Health Check. Invitations should be sent to patients in an easy read format.

An invitation letter is sent to the individual or their family/carer.

Some practices have found that following up the invitation with a telephone call helps. GP practices display a poster and screensaver on waiting room screens about learning disability health checks that help raise awareness.

The practice should send out a pre-health check questionnaire. This will help in collecting the information needed by the clinician and will help identify any areas of concern for the patient. It is also useful if the patient lives with a Care Provider as the patient will not need to rely on the knowledge of the staff member supporting them to the appointment. Easy read guidance about health checks should also be shared with patients to help inform and prepare them ahead of their annual health check.

Complying with the Accessible Information Standard

As part of the Accessible Information Standard (Law), GP practices must:

  • Ask patients if they have any information or communication needs, and find out how to meet their needs. For people with learning disabilities, practices may need to ask carers about the patient’s needs
  • Record those needs in a set way. See Accessible Information Standard Guidance Document on Recording Information and Communication Needs
  • Highlight a person’s file, so it is clear that they have information or communication needs, and clearly explain how those needs should be met e.g. easy read/braille/longer time. GP practices need to add a ‘flag’ or ‘alert’ to the electronic patient record
  • Share information about a person’s needs with other NHS and adult social care providers, when they have consent or permission to do so. This means all referrals should state the person’s communication need and how this should be met
  • Make sure that people get information in an accessible way and communication support if they need it

This should be asked reviewed again before each annual health check.

Making reasonable adjustments

When making arrangements for the health check the practice should consider if any reasonable adjustments are required in order to have a successful appointment. This could mean including the right carer, completing the health check over a number of appointments or offering a different waiting area.

Further reading about reasonable adjustments