One quick and easy way of improving health, for people living with a learning disability

You’re Doctor and you

“If you have a learning disability, including SEN or Statement or EHC plan, or MLD or Autism, Its important that you tell your Doctor, they will then record this fact against your medical record”.


Sadly of the 1.7 million people with a learning disability known to be living in the UK, only a third of them are registered correctly as having a learning disability, with their Doctor. The remaining 2 thirds are referred to by the NHS as the Hidden majority.

This lack of correct registration means that they are missing out on advice that would help them to stay well, or be treated properly and in a way that they could understand. Some people with learning disabilities may be eligible for an annual health check, it is estimated that only half the people eligible for a health check are getting them. This information kept by your Doctor, is also important for the NHS and local Authorities, when they build new services, make changes or close them down. It also enables trends to be spotted helping to put prevention strategies in place

We are asking all parents, careers, teachers and health professionals, to help improve the numbers of people correctly registered. The next time you call for an appointment or visit the Doctor, ask them to record the fact, that either you or your loved one has a learning disability. Its important to let your Doctor have the right information, these people are doing a fantastic job and with our help they can do a better one.

Some facts

People with learning disabilities are four times more likely to die of preventable causes than other people, due to untreated ill health, leading to a high likelihood that avoidable deaths, may be occurring.

·These people are 58 times, more likely to die before the age of 50 than other people.

·Life expectancy is shortest for those with the greatest support needs and the most complex and/or multiple conditions.

·They do not have the same access to health services as other people.

·They have higher levels of unmet need and receive less effective treatment than the rest of the population.

·They are less likely to get standard evidence-based treatments and checks.

·They are less likely to be given pain relief; and less likely to receive palliative care.

·Those people with learning disabilities from a minority ethnic group have higher rates of morbidity and mortality, they still encounter discrimination, abuse and neglect in health services, have higher rates of obesity, coronary heart disease, respiratory disease, hearing impairment, dementia, osteoporosis and epilepsy.

·26% of people with learning disabilities are admitted to hospital each year, compared to approximately 14% of the general population.

Leave a Reply