The number of people with learning disabilities receiving an annual health check from their GP has risen in the last year to 53% – but this is only a 5% rise on figures for 2010/11 (23rd July 2012).

The Improving Health and Lives report, The Uptake of Health Checks for Adults with Learning Disabilities: 2008/9 to 2011/12, found that 86,023 people with learning disabilities were reported to have received a health check in 2011/12, an increase of 18% from 2010/11 and by 46% from 2009/10.

Since 2009 GP practices in England can provide health checks for adults with learning disabilities as part of a Directed Enhanced Service scheme. Originally agreed for two years to 2010/11, this scheme has been extended, most recently to 2012/13.

Primary care trusts (PCTs) reported that 53% of the people eligible for a check as a result of being known both to their GP and social services for their learning disabilities were reported to have received a health check in 2011/12. In 2010/11, 48% received a health check, and in 2009/10 41% received one.

Elsewhere, 75% of PCTs reported a rise in the number of checks done, and 60% a rise in the number of people identified as eligible and 67% of PCTs reported an increase in the proportion of eligible individuals having a check.

However, there was still variation between areas on the numbers of people receiving checks; 7% of PCTs identified as eligible less than half of the numbers of people on GP learning disability registers.

Indeed, the bottom 10% of PCTs providing checks for fewer than 25% while the top 10% provided 69% or more.