Supporting young people with a learning disability to stay happy and healthy – Warwickshire County Council

Did you know that young people aged 14 and over with a learning disability are entitled to a free NHS health check every year?

A health check is an opportunity for you and your child to speak to the GP or nurse about any health or well-being concerns, and for GPs to identify and treat health problems early. It can help young people find new ways to take care of themselves, thereby increasing their independence and supporting them to lead happier and healthier lives.

An annual health check has many advantages:

  • Young people can increase their confidence in the practice and their familiarity with the practice staff.

  • Help identify previously undiscovered health needs or health conditions.

  • Health needs are addressed, for example, referrals to other healthcare professionals can be made.

  • General practitioners and practice staff can get to know young people better if they are not doing badly.

  • An individual health action plan is developed.

  • Additional information may be added to the summary care record that may “tag” your child’s or adolescent’s needs or make appropriate adjustments so that all healthcare professionals caring for them are aware.

Regarding the importance of health checks, Councilor Margaret Bell, portfolio owner for social care and adult health said:

“Anyone aged 14 and over with a learning disability is entitled to a free annual health check. An annual health check can improve a young person’s health by detecting problems earlier. It can help them find new ways to take care of themselves, which can help them build their independence and help them live happier, healthier lives.

“The check-up is performed by the young person’s doctor, who measures their weight, height and blood pressure and discusses any existing or emerging health problems. After the examination, the young person is given a health action plan that reminds them of what they need to do to stay healthy. It may also include details of any additional testing or treatment required.”

dr Angela Brady, Chief Medical Officer of the Coventry and Warwickshire Integrated Care Board said:

“Sometimes when you’re young you don’t think about going to the doctor; However, if you recognize changes earlier, you can learn how to manage your health and stay healthy as you grow up.

“We know that people with a learning disability can sometimes be more affected than others in the long term. With the support of your local practice, you can take your health into your own hands and sustainably improve your well-being through annual health checks.”

In order to receive an invitation to a health check, the young person must be on the register of his/her family doctor with a learning disability. To check whether your child or young person is registered or to book a free health check, contact your general practitioner.

Watch this video for more information about the annual health check, or check out this easy-to-follow brochure.

For more information and advice on local services and support for families with children and young people aged 0-25 with special educational needs and/or disabilities visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/send. You can also keep up to date with the latest SEND Warwickshire news by following the Facebook page for local deals and signing up for the SEND Warwickshire newsletter here.

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