If your child is age 14 and over and has a learning disability, their GP (doctor) should offer them an annual health check.
This is because people with a learning disability often have poorer health. This can be their physical or mental health, or both. It gives the young person a chance to meet and get used to visiting the nurse or GP. They should have an annual health check even if they are under the care of a hospital paediatrician.
Who does the Annual Health Check?
- Doctor, or
- Physician Associate.
They will go through a checklist to try and avoid problems getting missed. They base this on what they need to check for on the individual patient. They will also discuss existing conditions such as asthma, epilepsy or constipation.
It is a time to:
- check healthy eating and weight
- screen for conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure
- arrange blood tests if needed
- plan vaccinations for flu, tetanus and Covid, both for your child and yourself as a carer
Health and care workers need to make it as easy for disabled people to use services as it is for people who are not disabled. This is called making ‘reasonable adjustments’. For example this might include:
- an appointment time that is easier for the patient to attend with the support of family carers
- at a time of day when the waiting room will be quieter
This video explains what happens at an annual health check.