Quality statement 1: Comprehensive health assessment

Quality statement

People with a learning disability have a comprehensive annual health assessment from their GP.

Rationale

Annual health checks in people with a learning disability are likely to lead to identification and management of underlying physical health problems at an early stage. Unrecognised physical illness in people with a learning disability may lead to pain and discomfort, which, in turn, may be an important factor in triggering and maintaining behaviour that challenges. Therefore, early identification of physical health problems in people with a learning disability may reduce behaviour that challenges, leading to a reduction in costs associated with assessing and managing such behaviour.

Quality measures

Structure

Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that people with a learning disability have a comprehensive annual health assessment from their GP.

Data source: Local data collection.

Process

Proportion of people with a learning disability who have a comprehensive annual health assessment from their GP.

Numerator – the number in the denominator who had a comprehensive annual health assessment from their GP in the past 12 months.

Denominator – the number of people with a learning disability in contact with a GP service.

Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for service providers, healthcare professionals and commissioners

Service providers (primary care providers) ensure that people with a learning disability have a comprehensive annual health assessment from their GP.

Healthcare professionals (GPs) carry out a comprehensive annual health assessment for people with a learning disability.

Commissioners (clinical commissioning groups and NHS England) ensure that they commission services in which GPs provide a comprehensive annual health assessment for people with a learning disability.

What the quality statement means for service users and carers

People with a learning disability have a thorough health check from their GP every year. This should include checking their physical health and any medicines they are taking. The checks should help to plan the person's healthcare over the next year and make sure that any physical health problems are treated.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Comprehensive health assessment

A comprehensive health assessment should include:

  • a review of any known or emerging behaviour that challenges and how it may be linked to any physical health problems

  • a review of physical health

  • a review of all medicines and other types of treatment (for example psychological therapy)

  • an agreed and shared care plan for managing any physical health problems (including pain)

  • discussion with a family member, carer, healthcare professional or social care practitioner who knows the person.

[Adapted from challenging behaviour and learning disabilities (NICE guideline NG11), recommendation 1.2.1]

Equality and diversity considerations

The communication needs of people with a learning disability, particularly the needs of people who are unable to communicate through speech, should be taken into account in a health assessment. Practitioners may need to provide support for those who have limited speech and for those who have difficulty with English.