Thursday, July 25, 2024

Are Thurrock’s doctors failing our most vulnerable?

DIRECTORS of Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions CIC met with Labour parliamentary candidate, Polly Billington recently to discuss what the issues are for people with Learning Disabilities living in Thurrock. Shockingly, once again, the percentage of people who have had an annual health check is now below 40%. National research has shown that people with learning disabilities die younger than the general population not due to their impairment but simply due to poor healthcare. Are people dying to live in Thurrock?

Anne White speaking on behalf of the Directors said “I’m almost too angry to speak about this. Across the country the annual health check feels like a postcode lottery. We have been trying to get the professionals to sort this for many years and still people are not aware that they are ill, or even that their GP should deliver this”.

Polly Billington said "When everyone is worried about getting an appointment with their GP, people with learning disabilities are getting an even worse deal. Only 40% of them are getting the annual health checks they are entitled to and GPs are paid to deliver. This can put their health at risk, and could end up costing the NHS more in the long run. It is embarrassing for Thurrock to have such terrible statistics, so I am determined to help Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions CIC and Thurrock Healthwatch in their campaign to ensure disabled and vulnerable people in our community get the healthcare that is theirs by right."

Ian Ross the commissioner from NHS England who is responsible for the fund that pays GP’s to do them has asked to meet people through Healthwatch and Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions CIC. He is meeting people at the Beehive on August 5th 2pm.

Ian Ross says “I am keen to work with Healthwatch Thurrock to help promote primary care services to patients that are both vulnerable or have learning disabilities. One of the services offered is Health Checks to people with Learning Disabilities. Last year these health checks were delivered to less than 40% of this patient group; this simply is not acceptable and the Area Team will be doing everything we can to make sure that figure increases, the national target is 70% although my goal as lead will be to achieve a lot higher than that”.

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