- Health checks
Wales was the first country in the UK to introduce free annual health checks for adults with a learning disability. The LDIAG gave advice on the development of All Wales proposals to introduce regular health checks as part of the local enhanced GP service arrangements. The use of annual health checks has proven effective by several studies in Wales at identifying existing and new health needs of people with a learning disability. In the PEARL project phase I, undertaken by Prof Mike Kerr, approximately half the patients who opted for a health check were identified as having unmet health needs, of which 17% were classed as "serious".
In 2009, the Welsh Government commissioned All Wales People First and Mencap Cymru to produce a series of accessible resources for people with a learning disability to learn more about Annual Health Checks. The result of the project is a series of video clips that can be found on Mencap’s website. The Annual Health Checks were introduced in 2006 as a response to Mencap Cymru’s Treat Me Right! campaign, and are available free to all people with a learning disability known to social services. It is hoped that the video clips will not only raise awareness of the rights of people with a learning disability to have these checks, but also to remove some of the fear around what a health check involves. You can watch the clips by clicking on this link: http://www.mencap.org.uk/wales/what-we-do/our-projects/annual-healthcheck-videos/wales-health-check-videos
The guidance aims to define best practice and improve health outcomes for people with a learning disability staying in hospital.
Commissioned by the Welsh Government and published in May 2011 it will mainly benefit:
- hospital staff
- people with a learning disability
- their families
- paid support staff.
The framework includes a summary of best practice within the UK.
A report setting out recommendations to ensure people with learning disabilities receive the specialist nursing care they need, want and deserve was launched on 21 June 2012 by Health Minister Lesley Griffiths.
The review and report were carried out and produced on behalf of the UK’s four Chief Nursing Officers, including Professor Jean White, Chief Nursing Officer for Wales.
Recommendations across a wide range of areas reflecting the complexity and importance of modern learning disabilities nursing are set out in the report. A steering group will be set up in Wales to oversee the implementation of the recommendations in Wales. You can read the report here.