Health boss pledges to get tough on lack of health checks for people with learning disabilities

ADULT SOCIAL CARE boss, cllr Barbara Rice has pledged to improve the number of health checks Thurrock GPs are giving to people with learning needs.

In October, YT reported that since 2009, doctors across Thurrock have signed up to the Directive Enhanced Service (DES), which is an extra payment of £50 given to individual GP’s for each person registered with them who has a diagnosis of a Learning Difficulty.

But according to figures released by leading pressure group, Thurrock Healthwatch, there has been a worryingly low number of individuals who have been checked.

2008/9–number delivered 0=0%

2009/10–number delivered 183=16%

2010/11–number delivered 139=11%

2011/12 –number delivered 585=36%

As we reported in October, many believe that the figure only improved because members of Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions escorted their clients to the surgeries.

But at the cabinet meeting of the ruling Labour council, deputy leader and portfolio holder for adult social care, cllr Barbara Rice said: “For the first time, we have measures in place to monitor progress in this field. The Health and Well Being Board has adopted a leadership position.”

According to the figures, the number of GPs who have signed up to give the checks has increased to 80% but it still leaves Thurrock way behind much of the country.

YT understands that nurses from the North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) have been drafted in to help with the scheme.

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