Do you have a learning disability? Don’t miss out on getting the very best healthcare
If you have a learning disability you can get extra support when visiting the doctor.
To get extra support and the very best healthcare you need to be on the learning disability register. Ask the receptionist at your doctor’s surgery if you are on the register. If you are not on the register then ask for an appointment with your doctor.
Being on the doctor’s learning disability register will help you get the best healthcare.
At the appointment tell your doctor you have a learning disability and would like to be added to the register. You can use this letter to tell your doctor you want to be added to the register.
Once you are on the register, ask your doctor if you can have a free health check every year. During this check your doctor will take a closer look at how you are doing – making sure you are healthy and stay healthy.
Your doctor can also talk to you about your Summary Care Record which is a short summary of your GP medical records. With your permission, other health and care staff can access your Summary Care Record so they know about the medicines you take and any allergies. This includes people who treat you in an emergency and in routine scheduled care (e.g. hospital appointments). Tell your doctor they can add more information to your record so you don’t miss out.
A short video of people with a learning disability talking about annual health checks.
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.
You can find out more about getting extra support from your doctor if you have a learning disability on the mencap website – the voice of learning disability.