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Annual health checks for people with learning disabilities age 14 plus

It is really important to look after your health.

People with a learning disability are entitled to an annual health check at their doctors.

Everyone with a learning disability should be put on their doctor's GP learning disability register. This will mean they get some additional health support. Everyone who is over the age of 14 and on the learning disability register is entitled to a free annual health check.

GP’s identify people with a learning disability on their practice registers and invite them for an annual health check. This is very important because some illnesses hide and your GP can help to stop a serious health condition developing.

You do not need to be ill to have an annual health check. It can help individuals stay healthy and well. It is a chance for the GP, the person with a learning disability and those that support them to review the individual’s physical and mental health. They can talk to their doctor about anything that is hurting or worrying them and ask about any support needed or any reasonable adjustments when visiting the doctor.

Top tips for your annual health check:

  • think about anything you want to ask your doctor
  • ask the doctor to explain anything you do not understand
  • you will have time you do not need to rush
  • you do not have to say or do anything you do not want to
  • your doctor is there to help you, so you do not need to feel worried
  • make sure your doctor gives you a health action plan

Contact your local GP to ensure your young person is listed on the register. It is never too early to get onto the register. If you are a parent of a child with a learning disability, please ensure that your child is on the register, so that they can be invited for an annual health check once they are 14.

More information on annual health checks can be found on NHS England website.

Who does the service support?

Anyone registered with their GP with a learning disability age 14 and over.

What can you expect?

An annual health check is done by your doctor once a year. Your doctor will take a closer look at how you are doing – making sure you’re healthy.

A parent/carer, friend, family member or someone that supports the young person can attend as well to support. The appointment normally lasts about an hour or may be split over two appointments, one with a nurse and one with your doctor.

They will check:

  • eyes and ears
  • blood pressure
  • feet and skin
  • urine
  • heart and breathing
  • weight and height
  • any medicines they take
  • do a blood test

They will ask you about lifestyle, including:

  • what you eat
  • how you feel
  • what exercise you do and give ideas about how to be healthier

How do you get involvement from the service?

Your GP should contact you once a year and invite your young person into the surgery for a health check. You should contact your GP if you have not had a letter inviting your young person to an appointment or are unsure whether they are on the surgery’s learning disability register.

What happens after the service has been involved?

A health action plan is agreed and produced and given to the individual and parent/carer. It has all the things they can do to keep healthy and manage any health conditions.

They may be referred to other health screening services or tests.

They will be invited to another health check in the following year.

What can parents, CYP, families do if they are not eligible?

Talk to your GP and check if your young person is on the learning disability register. If they have a learning disability diagnosis ask if they can be added to the register.


Download: Easy read Annual Health Check picture version
Download: Annual Health Check parent/carer leaflet

Last updated 19/07/2022