This page has been made to help you access information relating to your health care.
Please take a look at Sunderland People First Website for local information and support.
Health: legislation, research and good practice
People with a learning disability have a right to receive good healthcare, but are often let down by current provision. People with a learning disability experience poorer health and poorer healthcare than the general population.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission and our ‘Death by indifference’ campaign show how all parts of the health service are struggling to meet the needs of people with a learning disability, and too often fail in their efforts.
This section aims to provide health professionals with information on best practice, and where to go for information and support so all people with a learning disability get the best health treatment possible.
People with a learning disability have a right to receive good healthcare. They will need health care in the same way that everyone else will, and some people with a learning disability will have additional health needs (for example, people with a learning disability are more likely to have epilepsy). Often, they need more support to understand information about their health, to communicate symptoms and concerns, and to manage their health.
There are simple things all health practitioners can do to ensure that people with a learning disability get the health care they need:
· allow longer appointment times
· communication with the individual (verbal and non-verbal)
· listening to the knowledge of their families and carers and most important, equally valuing the life of a person with a learning disability.
The EasyHealth website has guides for professionals in treating people with a learning disability. It also includes easy read information that health professionals can use to help explain health issues and treatments to their patients with a learning disability.
The Disability Discrimination Act says that people with a disability must not be discriminated against. Service providers must make reasonable adjustments to give people with a disability an equal outcome. Failure to do this would be in breach of the law.
· ‘Death by indifference’ Mencap, 2007
· ‘Closing the Gap’ Disability Rights Commission, 2006
· ‘Illness in people with intellectual disabilities’ British Medical Journal, 2008
Visit our case studies page to read about some examples of positive actions hospitals are taking to improve the service they give to people with a learning disability. If you have an example to include here, please email the campaigns team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Health awareness plays an important part in the way we support people with a learning disability. Our work involves producing resources for health and social care professionals to enable them to better understand health, diet and nutrition. We also produce resources for people with a learning disability that help them develop a better awareness of their own health, and give them tools for managing this.
How we work with others
We also work with a range of partners so that together we can reduce health inequalities for people with a learning disability. People with a learning disability often have difficulty in accessing health information to support their health needs. We link with external and specialist organisations to share our good practice, reach a wider audience and to ensure that the needs of people with a learning disability are featured and addressed.
For further information about issues relating to health and people with a learning disability, please contact:
Telephone: 020 7696 5613
NHS Cancer Screening Programmes
The NHS Cancer Screening Programmes are:
· NHS Breast Screening Programme
· NHS Cervical Screening Programme
· NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme
The national office of the NHS Cancer Screening Programmes works with:
· the staff who provide screening services
· those who provide quality assurance services and training
· professional organisations (such as Royal Colleges)
to ensure that the screening programmes:
· respond to the needs of the eligible population
· are provided to the highest levels of quality, safety and efficiency
· are delivered by high quality staff who are appropriately trained
Leaflets are available for people with learning disabilities. These are ‘An easy guide to Breast Screening’, ‘An easy guide to Cervical Screening’ and ‘Equal Access to Breast and Cervical Screening for disabled women’, which is aimed at staff working in the Breast and Cervical Screening programmes, including those who work with/support women with learning disabilities.
We also have ‘An Easy Guide to Bowel Cancer Screening’ and ‘An Easy Guide to Having a Colonoscopy’.
The guidance recommends good practice to ensure that people with a learning disability:
· have access to information to enable them to make their own decisions about whether or not to accept an invitation to attend for breast, cervical screening or bowel cancer
· know what to expect when they participate for screening so that it is a positive experience
· understand the possible consequences of screening and the need to be aware of changes in their own bodies.
Do they charge for services?
What accessible facilities/services do they offer?
Information on Audio Tape
Information in Braille
Information in Large Print
Information on Video Tape
Information is available in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Kurdish, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Urdu, and Ukrainian
Old Fulwood Road
Postcode: S10 3TH
Tel: 0114 271 1060
Fax: 0114 271 1089