NHS England’s Building the Right Support (2015) outlined a clear national service model for people with learning disabilities that included annual health checks for everyone aged over 14 years. It was part of a broader ambition to ensure that people with learning disabilities ‘get the support they need to live healthy, safe and rewarding lives’.
Two years on, the national figures show a positive shift in the numbers receiving checks but we’ve still got some way to go. It needs everyone to be on board – every service provider across every locality – to make it happen.
Bradford, like other Trusts, started to focus on health checks back in 2008, in line with national guidance. Our community-based health teams were supporting health and care providers to ensure checks were happening, to pick up any changes in people’s presentations earlier and provide support earlier, to avoid hospital admissions.
The latest statistics now show 64 per cent of people aged 14 years and over across Bradford and Airedale received a health check last year. This compares to a national average of around 44 per cent (source: Mencap).