Primary care doctors in US seek direct training from people with learning disabilities


Last week we posted about some research by a self advocacy group which was looking at some of the reasons why annual health checks only happened for one in four people with learning disabilities in their area. The researchers in this US study looked at the needs of primary care doctors using semi structured interviews [read the full story…]

GP guidance aims to improve access to eye care for people with learning disabilities


One of the ongoing themes of posts on this site is the well-documented view that people with learning disabilities are more likely to have difficulties with health issues and are less likely to have good access to healthcare to help them to manage those difficulties. However, there is now a growing body of advice and [read the full story…]

Principles underlying payment by results can be used to commission personalised learning disability services


Payment by Results (PbR) was introduced into the NHS with the aim of improving efficiency and increasing  value for money. The approach uses a national tariff of agreed fixed prices reflecting average prices for procedures. In this article, the authors argue that given that outcome focused approaches to payment by results will be incrementally introduced [read the full story…]

New website for doctors to help provide better care for people with learning disabilities


We have posted many times about the mounting evidence suggesting that people with learning disabilities are often poorly served by healthcare services. The recent Mencap report, “Death by Indifference 74 deaths and counting” drew attention to these continued failings in the NHS. The General Medical Council has been working to expand and explain its guidance [read the full story…]

Mencap report draws attention to continued failings in NHS care for people with learning disabilities


In 2007, Mencap published ‘Death by Indifference’, which chronicled failings in health care that led to the deaths of 6 people with learning disabilities. Following a review by the Health Ombudsman, the Department of Health published evidence that hospitals were failing to provide proper healthcare to people with a learning disability. This new report, five [read the full story…]

New Canadian guidelines for primary care of adults with learning disabilities


This Canadian review set out to update guidelines related to primary care of people with learning disabilities. The terms developmental disabilities is used in Canada but is equivalent to the use of the term learning disabilities in the UK.  Estimates of the prevalence of learning disabilities in Canada vary from 1% to 3% of Canadians. [read the full story…]

Providing accessible information to improve access to healthcare for people with learning disabilities


There is a developing understanding of the difficulties faced by people with learning disabilities when they want to access health services. One of the projects that the NHS set in motion to address this was the NHS Better Metrics scheme which developed measures of performance to be used for local service quality improvement. The scheme [read the full story…]

Life events linked to likelihood of hospital emergency department visits in people with learning disabilities


Life stress and in particular key stressful events have long been linked with mental ill health. These researchers in Canada set out to look at the link between life events and psychopathology in people with learning disabilities and in particular, the link with hospital use. The researchers asked key informants to complete a checklist of [read the full story…]

People with learning disabilities in rural settings in Scotland are not doubly disadvantaged accessing healthcare


Research has consistently shown that access to healthcare services is poor for adults with learning disabilities and for those people who live in rural areas. The researchers in this study set out to find out whether adults with learning disabilities who lived in rural areas were at a double disadvantage. They looked at data from [read the full story…]

Health surveillance insufficient to meet healthcare needs of people with Down syndrome in Finland study


Researchers in Finland looked at medical problems in a population of people with Down syndrome and compared health surveillance to recommendations in national guidelines. They looked at case records from the specialist services in primary healthcare and disability services. They found many age-specific medical and surgical problems, including  congenital heart defects and middle ear infections [read the full story…]