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Learning Disability and Autism

We know that  people with a learning disability are among the most marginalised individuals within our local communities.

They are more likely to experience mental health needs, dementia, psychological distress and anxiety, respiratory conditions, diabetes and epilepsy. Around 50% of the learning disability population will have at least one significant long-term health condition The identification of health need is often delayed and may result in late stage diagnosis and poorer prognosis. Too often people with a learning disability present in health crisis and access urgently sought, bed-based services for conditions that may have been more proactively managed through robust care coordination.

Programmes of work are underway to reduce these health inequalities. Using co-production we are working closely with experts and carers to redesign services in order for people to experience more control over their care and achieve longer, happier and healthier lives.

We have put into place a system of Care and Treatment Reviews that provide care closer to home, by avoiding the use of locked hospital placements wherever possible or helping people to receive care within their local communities at the first available opportunity. We have worked together to design and deliver education to improve awareness of the causes of premature death for people with a learning disability and support preventative action.

Annual Health Checks - information, support and guidance

Autism and Sensory Friendly Environments

 

“Without the right understanding, autistic people can miss out on adjustments needed for them to engage in medical appointments, which often leads to distressing experiences, avoiding seeking medical attention or losing out on support.” - National Strategy for Autistic Children, Young People and Adults: 2021-2026

In collaboration with autistic people, the Clinical Commissioning Group for Herefordshire & Worcestershire has produced a set of educational videos about sensory needs and autism.

The four videos below explore the experiences of autistic people going to see their GP, explain what is meant by ‘sensory needs’, and describe simple and straightforward reasonable adjustments that can be made.  By understanding this and responding appropriately, together we can address health inequalities.

They have application beyond primary care and will help raise awareness in other health and social care settings to tackle health inequalities.

For further information about the Sensory-Friendly Environments Project for GP practices, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Programme Lead for Learning Disability and Autism