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Annual health checks for people with learning disabilities age 14 plus

Services for People with a Learning Disability

Services for People Who Have a Learning Disability (SPLD) are part of East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT). They provide clinical services for adults with a learning disability across Bedfordshire and Luton.

The service includes The Specialist Health Care Team (SHCT) and The Intensive Support Team (IST).

SHCT provide planned clinical interventions for people and are a multidisciplinary team (MDT) consisting of various specialist departments.

These include Psychiatry, Psychology, Positive Behaviour Support, Arts Therapies, Health Facilitation Service, Sight and Hearing Team, Acute Liaison Nurses, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy and Physiotherapy.

One of our main aims is to reduce health inequalities.

 IST is an MDT that provide crisis support to people with a learning disability. Their aim is to prevent admissions and they work closely with care providers and mental health services to achieve this. 

To access SHCT you can send a referral to referrals can be accepted into the service from the age of 17 to allow for a good transition from children’s to adult services.

If a person with a learning disability is experiencing a crisis with their mental health or behaviour you can contact IST on 01234 310538. We have an open referral system so people and their carers are able to self-refer.

Who can have an annual health check? 

Anyone aged 14 or over who is on their doctor's learning disability register can have a free annual health check once a year. 

You can ask to go on this register if you have a learning disability. Check with your doctor's practice if you or the person you care for is on the register. 

If you are unsure if you have a learning disability, you can check any paperwork that you have that includes a diagnosis such as a health condition. You can also ask your doctor or the person who cares for you. 

 How will an annual health check help?

You will get to know your doctor better. The doctor will also be able to spot any health problems sooner so that you get the treatment you need to stay well. 

You can ask your doctor questions about your health and tell them how you are feeling. 

You can also talk about any treatment you are having or medicine you use. 

How do you get an appointment? 

Adults and young people aged 14 or over with a learning disability who are on the doctor's practice learning disability register should be invited by their doctor to come for an annual health check. If you have not received an appointment then it is ok to ring your GP Practice and ask for one.

Do you have to have an annual health check? 

No. You can choose if you want to have an annual health check or not. 

You can ask the doctor or nurse for more information about annual health checks before you decide. 

You will be asked if you are ok (give your consent) with having any tests or procedures before you have them. 

Hospital Passports/All about Me Documents

Many people feel frustrated at the lack of knowledge around their own health and medical history. This is why the hospital passport is so important, as it is a reference guide to confidential details about someone’s personal health. It is to be kept updated at all times.

A hospital passport can be known by different names; you may hear them referred to as an All about Me, a purple folder or even health passport. The most important thing is that no matter what the name, that the document holds up to date information about every aspect of the person’s health and wellbeing.

This is important as it helps to avoid confusion and at times, the wrong care being given. You can work with the person you support to add information about their doctor, dentist, optician or any other medical professional, detailing everything from medical conditions they may have to when they last visited a health professional.

Give a copy of the health passport to the person’s doctor, as it will help them to understand the medical history and needs and potentially avoid them having to repeat the same information about their needs.

The document will also tell the hospital about the person’s healthcare, their learning disability, how they like to communicate and how to make things easier for them during any inpatient stay or during an outpatient appointment. When someone is admitted to a ward, or attends for an appointment, make sure that their hospital passport goes with them and show it to healthcare staff at the hospital. It can help them to get the care they need in an easier to understand way.

Health Facilitation Team:

Bedford Borough - Toni McLaughlin 07973 231509 and Joyce Joseph 07796 273415

Central Bedfordshire - Karen Walsh 07983 410519 and Michelle Robertson 07983 410458

Luton - Yaa Oware 07983 986082 and Jackie Errington 07983 986083

Acute Liaison Nurses:

Bedford Hospital- Kara Grieg 07768 132244 and Rocialle Harding 07990 850866

Luton and Dunstable- Jeanette Broadhurst 07899 065737 and Lucy Little 07855 269102

Sight and Hearing Team:

Sarah Kelley 07580 719371

Erica Couzens 07580 324872

Evelyn Asante 07811 347981

Vanessa Young 07580 324887


Download: Annual Health Check Information for parents
Download: Annual Health Check easy read version
Download: Annual Health Check over 14 years easy read version
Download: HFS leaflet for professionals
Download: HFS easy read version
Download: Sight and Hearing team
Download: Learning Disability Liaison Nurses
Download: Specialist Healthcare Team for adults who have a learning disability

Last updated 29/06/2023