Woman on the toilet

NHS launches new campaign to help people with a learning disability combat constipation

A new national campaign aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of constipation has launched, NHS England has announced.

The campaign is specifically centring around how those with a learning disability and healthcare professionals can spot early signs of the condition.

An NHS-funded service improvement programme for people with learning disabilities or autism, known as LeDeR, carried out research that revealed only 10% of the general population suffer from constipation, while up to 50% of people with a learning disability can be affected.

It was also found to be one of the 10 most reported long-term health conditions among those with a learning disability who died in 2020.

To drive awareness, the health service has released a range of resources that have been co-developed with the Down’s Syndrome Association, Mencap, and Pathways Associates to help different stakeholders.

                                                                        Video credit: Canva 

An NHS review conducted in partnership with LeDeR found that better understanding and management of constipation had the potential to significantly cut hospital admissions and improve overall outcomes.

Ultimately, the campaign is looking to educate on the seriousness of constipation; drive early symptom recognition; help people know how to get the care they need; and promote understanding of how to prevent the condition in the first place.

The resources, which include an animation, posters and leaflets, are designed to be used in primary care or care settings.

“These resources are important because constipation is one of the reasons people with a learning disability die avoidably every year,” Vijay Patel, campaigns assistant at Mencap.

“It’s important that people with a learning disability recognise when going to the loo is difficult or unhealthy and can talk to someone if they are worried about it.

“It is good that people with a learning disability, like me, have been involved in the creation of these resources because information about health needs to be accessible, jargon free and easy to read, so that people can understand them and know what to do.”

Image credit: iStock

NHE September/October 2023

NHE September/October 2023

Empowering the next generation to lead the way in hard-to-treat cancers.

The September/October 2023 edition of NHE brings you expert comment and analysis on a range of key health sector topics, from digital transformation to navigating post-pandemic challenges.


View all videos
National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Events

NHE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of healthcare services. Over 365 days you'll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with the knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

National Health Executive Podcast

Ep. 36
How interoperability can support the NHS's core goals
with Ed Platt

In episode 36 of the National Health Executive podcast, we were joined by Omnicell’s UK professional services director, Ed Platt, to discuss interoperability in the NHS, practical examples of where it can be leveraged best, the importance of the health service's digital transformation journey and more.

More articles...

View all