Annual health checks for people with learning disabilities will continue for at least another 12 months, the General Practitioners Committee (GPC) has confirmed. The health checks will now be available until March 31, 2012. It is one of 3 clinical Directed Enhanced Services (DES) to be extended, alongside the alcohol reduction scheme and the osteoporosis diagnosis and prevention scheme. A health check should include:
- A review of physical and mental health with referral through the usual practice routes if health problems are identified, including: o health promotion o chronic illness and systems enquiry o physical examination o epilepsy o dysphagia o behaviour and mental health o specific syndrome check.
- A check on the accuracy of prescribed medications
- A review of coordination arrangements with secondary care
- A review of transition arrangements where appropriate.
Mencap's chief executive, Mark Goldring, said: "Annual health checks for people with a learning disability are one of the most valuable initiatives to come out of the government enquiries following our 'Death by Indifference' report. "Continued funding for these checks, which make a real difference in health outcomes for people with a learning disability, is welcome news in the current era of cuts to services. Four out of 10 GPs in the UK are currently providing annual health checks - we would like to see that number grow."