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18.06.18

NHS Digital launches Learning Disability Week

NHS Digital has highlighted key statistics associated with the health care of people with learning disabilities to mark the start of Learning Disability Week.

The figures, which reveal gaps in health, were first published by NHS Digital in December 2017 in its report, ‘Health and care of people with learning disabilities’.

In 2016-17, females with learning disabilities had an average life expectancy of around 18 years less than the general population, and males around 14 years less than the general population.

Yet, only around half of patients with a learning disability who were registered with a GP practice received their annual learning disabilities health check in that same year.

However, this was an increase compared to 2014-15 when 43.2% received their health check.

Almost 42% of patients with learning disabilities who are registered with a GP received a seasonal influenza immunisation in 2016-17, which was also a small increase on two years earlier.

Colorectal cancer screening was carried out less in people with learning disabilities, with 79.5% of eligible patients with a earning difficulty, aged 60-69 being screened, compared to 86% of eligible patients without.

Learning Disability Week 2018 will run from 18 to 24 June, and learning disability charity Mencap wants NHS staff to become involved with the “Treat me well campaign”, giving them a chance to hear from people with learning disabilities and think about simple change that they can make in order to make a big difference to people with a learning disability and improve the care that they receive.

Earlier this year, NHS England asked health professionals to pledge to stop overmedicating people with learning disabilities with psychotropic drugs.

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Image credit: Rawpixel, iStock Images

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