Saturday, February 24, 2024

Learning disability health checks still "far too low"

HEALTH leaders were less than impressed after expecting to hear the latest health check figures for people with learning disabilities to find the report empty of detail.

Learning disability health checks have been under close scrutiny since late 2015 after finding out only three per cent had been completed.

Cllr Victoria Holloway, Chair of Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny committee said she was “disappointed” that the updated report presented last week (Wednesday 15 September), lacked any figures to comment on.

She spoke after the meeting: “GPs are supposed to carry out these important checks and get paid by Thurrock CCG to do so, but despite their commitment in ensuring vulnerable residents are being looked after we can assume that nothing much has changed.”

Every person with a learning disability aged 14 and over is entitled to a free annual health check.

The report says: “Health checks have been shown to identify health issues which were previously unknown, in recognition that many people with a learning disability experience more health problems and have a lower life expectancy.”

Cllr Holloway added: “The five-page report, which includes a two page action plan, doesn’t tell us very much.

“It says the checks are important and there are ‘significant concerns about the completeness and quality of health checks and that things would need to change to address this’.

“We’ve questioned the CCG, who co-commission the checks with NHS England, on where the figures are and we’re told that that NHS England have yet to pass the information showing how many checks have been completed by GPs to the them which is simply not good enough.

“The Portfolio Holder, Cllr James Halden, and I have agreed to write to NHS England to request the details – perhaps we’ll clutter their desks into submission and they’ll release this clearly important information.

“We must not fail those who are vulnerable in our community – it is our job to ensure they are the receiving services they are entitled to.”

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