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The level of need in the population

Adults :: Learning disabilities :: The level of need in the population

Work is currently being undertaken in Medway to look at learning disabilities in depth. The new Joint Health and Social Care Self-Assessment Framework (JHSCSAF) replaces the Valuing People Now Self-Assessment and the Learning Disability Health Self-Assessment. All Local Authority areas are required to complete the self-assessment working with their local partners including Clinical Commissioning Groups. Please follow the link to the Joint Health and Social Care Self-Assessment Framework for more information.

There is good evidence that, across the country, patients with learning disabilities have more health problems and die at a younger age than the rest of the population.

Since April 2008 GP practices have been supported to identify Learning Disability patients aged 18 or over with the most complex needs and to offer them a health check. The rationale is to target people with the most complex needs and, therefore, at highest risk from undetected conditions (usually people with moderate to severe learning disabilities) and to develop a health action plan for them. From the prevalence figures available, it is estimated that approximately 240,000 patients fall into this category across the country.

In January 2014 there were 901 patients aged 18 years and over with a learning disability in Medway of whom 585 were identified as benefiting from eligibility for an annual healthcheck. In 2012/13 43% of eligible learning disability patients received a healthcheck. A range of actions are in place to increase uptake in 2013/14 including automatic prompts when a patient's record is opened at their GP practice and an easy read invite letter is under development.

People with learning disability have been identified as attending national screening programmes (bowel/breast/cervical/abdominal aortic aneurysm/diabetic retinopathy) less often where compared to the general population. A Kent and Medway policy is in place to support equitable access, reasonable adjustment and good access to cervical screening services. This good practice should be duplicated for other screening programmes also.

For more information on national screening programmes, click here