Editorials

Annual health checks for people with intellectual disabilities

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e7589 (Published 15 November 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7589
  1. Matt Hoghton, general practitioner1,
  2. Graham Martin, retired general practitioner2,
  3. Umesh Chauhan, general practitioner3
  1. 1Clevedon Riverside Group, Clevedon BS21 6DG, UK
  2. 2RCGP Health Inequalities Standing Group, Cragside, Wolvey, UK
  3. 3Walshaw House, Nelson, UK
  1. matt.hoghton{at}bristol.ac.uk

Potentially an important step towards reducing health inequalities

The recent convictions in the United Kingdom of 11 staff members from Winterbourne View Hospital of the criminal charges of abuse of adults with intellectual disabilities highlights the continued institutional weaknesses in caring for this vulnerable group.1 However, most people with intellectual disabilities reside in the community, supported by primary care services. Substantial effort has been made in recent years to improve the care of these people through a change in legislation and financial incentives to general practitioners.

In 2006 the Disability Rights Commission recommended the introduction of annual health checks for people with intellectual disabilities in England as a way to reduce the health inequalities experienced by this group.2 Since 2008 general practitioners in England have been incentivised to perform a structured annual health check for adults with intellectual disability through an optional payment process (enhanced service).

The Learning Disabilities Public Health Observatory was set up in 2010 in response to a recommendation of the report of the Independent Inquiry into Access to Healthcare for People with Intellectual Disabilities.3 …

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