Annual Health Checks
What do we know aready?
Children with Learning Disabilities are just like any other children and can get all the usual childhood illnesses and infections. However, they can be very difficult to identify if it is the first time the GP has seen the child or young person.
If a child is known to a paediatrician it can be tempting for the parent carers to go straight to the specialist support throughout their childhood and not make any contact with their GP.
However, when the child becomes 18, this specialist support will cease and the care is handed over to the GP.
It is so very important to build a relationship with the GP from an early age. It is particularly important when their child is approaching transition to adulthood especially if the GP does not know the young person.
The Annual Health Check is an ideal opportunity for the GP to become involved in your child's care.
It also means that any reasonable adjustments that need to be made can be identified early and put in place for each appointment at the Practice.
Benefits of having an annual health check
- Your young person can build their confidence of going to the surgery, and their familiarity with practice staff.
- Identification of any previously undetected health needs or health conditions.
- Heath needs are acted upon, for example, referrals to other health care practitioners.
- GPs and practice staff can get to know the person better when they are not unwell.
- Development of a Health Action Plan.
- Can link to the duty on local authorities to make sure all Education, Health and Care Plan reviews from year 9 onwards include a focus on preparing for adulthood, this is the health outcome.
- Additional information can be added to the Summary Care Record which can 'flag' your child or young person's needs or reasonable adjustments so that all healthcare professionals that care for them are aware.
If you are unable to access an annual health check contact your local Learning Disability Community Team for advice or you can email the LSCft Learning Disability Health Facilitation Team who will be happy to help. They should be able to help you find a local GP who offers annual health checks. If you are still unable to access the annual health check you have the option to move to a GP surgery that does offer them.