Training programme improves health advocacy skills for people with learning disabilities


Recent reports on the response of the NHS in England to the health needs of people with learning disabilites have uncovered poor practice and a lack of knowledge and skills (see for example Mencap Getting it Right campaign) We posted earlier in the week about the impact of liaison nursing, one response of the health [read the full story…]

Learning disability liaison nurses valued by stakeholders and improve care, education and organisational development

Young girl and nurse

We have posted a number of times about the response of health services to the needs of people with learning disabbilites and recent reports have focused on the experience of people using general hospitals (see for example Mencap 74 Deaths and counting) One response to this concern has been the development of the Learning Disability [read the full story…]

Short term exercise programme improves muscle strength and agility in adolescents with Down syndrome


The benefits of exercise for a healthy lifestyle are now well understood. However, there are issues relating to the physiology of people with Down syndrome which might suggest limitations to the extent to which they can engage in cardiovascular or resistance exercises. we also know that many people with Down syndrome are overweight or obese. [read the full story…]

Lack of strategic commitment to annual health checks threatens to widen health inequality for people with learning disabilities

RCGP annual health check guidance

We have posted previously about health checks for people with learning disabilities, for example, the work of My Life My Choice, who looked at why it was that so few people with learning disabilities in their locality were getting access to annual health checks. We have also posted about the findings of a systematic review [read the full story…]

New NHS mandate identifies key objectives for people with learning disabilities


The NHS has this week published a new ‘mandate’ which sets out a number of agreements between the Government and the NHS Commissioning Board, which is responsible for improving  health outcomes by supporting the commissioning of effective services. The mandate identifies five areas for improvement: preventing people from dying prematurely enhancing quality of life for [read the full story…]

Fall in numbers of NHS learning disabilities nurses in England raises concerns


Earlier this year, we posted about the report of the Modernising Learning Disability Nursing Review Group, which explored ways in which access to expert learning disabilities nurses could be assured across the UK. There were a number of recommendations for action and the a UK-wide Steering Group was to be set up to support a [read the full story…]

Difficulties in accessing healthcare remain for people with learning disabilities Merseyside study shows


The Mencap Getting it Right campaign was launched some time ago in recognition that people with a learning disability were getting a raw deal from the NHS, with unequal access to treatments and reports of poor care. A range of reasons may lie behind this poor response, including inadequate training, lack of support, lack of knowledge [read the full story…]

Practical guidance for Clinical Commissioning Groups on improving health of people with learning disabilities


The healthcare needs of people with learning disabilities have been well charted in the literature, although the response of healthcare services to these needs has often been poor. Recent reports including Mencap’s Death by Indifference, which told the stories of six people with learning disabilities who died in the care of the NHS,  the Disability [read the full story…]

Colonoscopy in people with learning disabilities should be limited to individuals able to tolerate preparation and comply with hydration review suggests


A short while ago, we drew our readers’ attention to information about bowel cancer and learning disabilities produced in Scotland, where it is the second biggest killer. The authors of this review were interested in colonoscopy,  an endoscopic examination of the large bowel and the distal part of the small bowel camera They looked at [read the full story…]

Bowel Cancer resource produced for people with learning disabilities in Scotland

bowel cancer guide

Bowel Cancer UK estimates that over 40,000 men and women are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK every year, making it the third most common cancer. It is the second biggest killer in Scotland where there is a higher incidence rate of bowel cancer than many other countries in the Western world.  They estimate [read the full story…]