Following our posting of the systematic review into the efficacy of annual health checks for people with learning disabilities, this study reports on a project that was run in 2010 by a researcher working with a self-advocacy group in Oxfordshire. The team looked at the implementation of Annual Health Checks for people with learning disabilities in that county.
In 2009-10, they found that only 26.1% of checks had been completed, whereas the national average was 41%
Despite the fact that the requirement to carry out annual health checks has been in place for more than three years and that funding was made available to support GP practices to carry them out, the findings of the study confirm the slow progress towards fully implementing such checks.
The study found a number of reasons provided for such slow progress, including uncertainty over eligibility; limited awareness in GP practices about duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to facilitate access; limited awareness amongst carers and people with learning disabilities about annual health checks and their benefits. The authors also report that in some cases they found some scepticism that health checks were either necessary or beneficial, despite growing evidence that health checks were effective in identifying unidentified conditions and led to targeted actions to address needs.
An investigation into the implementation of Annual Health Checks for people with intellectual disabilities, Walmsley J, in Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 15, 3, 157-166