GPs

General Practitioners (GPs) are often the first point of call and your route into most other Healthcare Providers.

Most GP practices offer the following services:

Advice and support on health conditions and problems.

  • Medical examinations.
  • Treatment for common ailments.
  • Prescriptions for medicine to treat illnesses or symptoms of an illness.
  • Health checks and Health Action Plans
  • Referrals to other professionals if more specialist investigation and support is needed.

Your GP is a central point for all of your child’s Medical Needs. They will hold a medical file containing information about all of your child’s illnesses, conditions, prescribed medications. Your GP should also receive any letters or reports written about your child by other medical specialists. 

Annual Health Check

The Annual Health Check scheme is for adults and young people aged 14 or above with Learning Disabilities (Moderate, Severe or Profound) or Complex Health Issues.  It can often be difficult for people with Learning Disabilities to recognize illnesses and communicate their symptoms.  The Annual Health Checks aim to ensure that they are given additional support in seeing that their Health Needs are met and health conditions do not go undetected.

Adults and Young People aged 14 or above with Learning Disabilities who are known to the Local Authority Social Services, and who are registered with a GP who knows their medical history, should be invited by their GP practice for an Annual Health Check.

During the Health Check, the GP or Practice Nurse will carry out the following for the patient:

  • A general physical examination, including checking their weight, heart rate, blood pressure and taking blood and urine samples.
  • Assessing the patient’s behaviour, including asking questions about their lifestyle, and mental health.
  • A check for epilepsy.
  • A check on any prescribed medicines the patient is currently taking.
  • A check on whether any chronic illnesses, such as asthma or diabetes, are being well managed.
  • A review of any arrangements with other Health Professionals, such as Physiotherapists or Speech Therapists.

The GP or Practice Nurse will often do additional tests for particular health risks that may be associated with certain conditions.

The Health checks can be a good time to review any transitional arrangements which may occur when the young person reaches 18.

Reasonable adjustments will be made to make the Health Check more accessible for the individual. These adjustments can include:

  • Using pictures, large print, and straightforward language to help explain what is happening
  • Booking longer appointments
  • Scheduling an appointment that starts at the beginning or end of the day, so people don’t have to wait.

As part of the Annual Health Check the GP will also be required to produce a Health Action Plan, which outlines a patient's health needs, what will be done about their needs (including what the patient needs to do), who will help with this and when this will be reviewed.

Health Action Plans

A Health Action Plan identifies Health Needs, looks at what can be done about these and who will help with them and when the plan will be reviewed.

The Health Action Plan should be shared with other relevant professionals and carers who are involved in the care of your child. If your child has capacity they will need to give their consent for this to happen. This ensures that all of the people involved in your child’s care are kept up to date with their health needs and how these are being managed and supported. 

 

To find a GP’s service in your local area visit https://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/GP/LocationSearch/4