During the health check, the GP or practice nurse will:
- do a physical check-up, including weight, heart rate, blood pressure and taking blood and urine samples
- talk to you about staying well and if you need any help with this
- ask about things that are more common if you have a learning disability, such as epilepsy, constipation or problems with swallowing
- talk to you about your medicines
- if you have a health problem such as asthma or diabetes, the GP or nurse will check how it's going
- check to see if you have any other health appointments, such as physiotherapy or speech therapy
- ask if family and/or carers are getting the support they need
- help make sure that things go well when children move to adult services at the age of 18
If your learning disability has a specific cause, the GP or practice nurse will often carry out additional tests if there are any other health risks.
For people with Down's syndrome, for example, they may do a test to see if the thyroid gland is working properly.
You'll be asked for your consent (permission) to share information with other services that provide your care. This will help you get the right support if you go to a hospital, for example.
The GP or practice nurse will also give you health information, such as advice on healthy eating, exercise, contraception or stopping smoking.
Making reasonable adjustments for you
- A reasonable adjustment is when somebody changes how they do things to make it better for you.
People with a learning disability have a legal right for reasonable adjustments to be made so they can get the same benefits from healthcare services as everyone else.
Ask your GP if you need any reasonable adjustments, such as:
- using pictures, large print or simpler words to say what's happening
- booking longer appointments
- putting an appointment at the beginning or end of the day, if you find it hard to be in a busy waiting room
The reasonable adjustments you need should be written down in a health profile or health action plan that the GP or nurse can use.