Health checks

What is a health check?

Annual health checks are available for people with a learning disability who are over 14 years old. They are completed at your doctor’s surgery by your GP and/or nurse every year.

Annual health checks are a way to make sure that any health conditions are being diagnosed and treated early. They promote your health and wellbeing and are a way to help reduce the health inequalities experienced by people with a learning disability.

You do not have to be ill to have a health check – in fact, most people have their annual health check when they are feeling well.

Lady having her oxygen saturation measured by a health care working using an oxometer on her finger
What happens during the annual health check?

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During the annual health check the health care professional will ask you about your lifestyle;

What food you eat?

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Whether you drink alcohol or smoke

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What exercise you enjoy.

 

They may give you advice or information about changes you can make to your lifestyle to improve your health.

The annual health check will give you the chance to meet with the GP and/or nurse and talk about your health and any concerns you may have. You will be asked questions about health issues that are more common for people with learning disabilities such as epilepsy, constipation and respiratory issues. If you have had frequent chest infections or issues with your breathing, please discuss this with the person doing your review. As well as other tests or referrals, you may benefit from a referral to the specialist learning disability Health Support Team for further assessments.

What should your annual health check include?

  • Blood pressure check

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  • Weight/height/BMI calculation

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  • Blood tests (if required)

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  • Ear and eye health checks

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  • Medication review

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  • Referrals to other services if needed.

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During the appointment the person completing your review will ask if you have been invited for routine screening tests and check that you are up to date with any recommended vaccinations.

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It is important that people with learning disabilities have their flu, pneumonia and covid vaccines to help to reduce their risk of complications from respiratory disease. These are free for people with a learning disability and their carers.

All the GP practices across the Bradford district should offer their patients with learning disabilities over the age of 14 an annual health check. You can watch a video about learning disability annual health checks here and read more information about flu vaccines here.

More information on annual health checks

You can also find more information about annual health checks for adults with learning disabilities on the NHS website.