New health check packs for adults with learning disabilities launched

Iolo Eilian, Learning Disability Lead with the Health and Social Care Board pictured with Healthcare Facilitators Gemma Smyth (left) and Bernie Dooher from the Western Health and Social Care Trust,  at the launch of Easy Read health check publications for adults with a learning disability.
Iolo Eilian, Learning Disability Lead with the Health and Social Care Board pictured with Healthcare Facilitators Gemma Smyth (left) and Bernie Dooher from the Western Health and Social Care Trust, at the launch of Easy Read health check publications for adults with a learning disability.

A series of new Easy Read resources focusing on health issues are to be rolled out for local adults with learning disabilities.

The new books tackle health subjects such as menopause, checking the prostate and abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening.

The new publications, funded by the Health and Social Care Board were developed in ‘Easy Read’ format enabling people with learning disabilities to access important information about their health more easily.

The AAA screening publication is targeted at men over 65 years and provides detail about scanning inside your stomach to check for swelling in blood vessels from the heart to the stomach.

Booklets on the menopause and prostate have also been developed due to a lack of easy to understand information on these health topics for adults with a learning disability.

Launching the new resources, Valerie Watts, Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Board and Interim Chief Executive of the Public Health Agency said: “These new resources will ensure that everyone is able to access and understand information that affects their everyday lives, including people with learning disability.

“Information that is easier to understand helps people to make better choices on important issues such as healthcare.”

Ms. Watts added: “We have also produced a DVD promoting annual health checks for those with a learning disability.

“The Annual Health Check is a chance for the person to get used to going to their GP practice, which reduces their fear of going at other times.

“Regular health checks for people with learning disabilities often uncover treatable health conditions. Most of these are simple to treat and make the person feel better, while sometimes serious illnesses such as cancer are found at an early stage when they can be treated.

“I am committed to ensuring ongoing progress in this area continues to provide better and improved experiences and access to health services for people with learning disabilities,” she said.

Healthcare facilitators from the Western Health and Social Trust attended the launch of the project recently.

Service User Declan Armstrong also spoke at the launch highlighting that he was diagnosed with type 11 Diabetes following his health check.

Mr Armstrong now attends diabetic nurse in his GP practice regularly and gets his bloods, weight and eyes monitored.