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Annual Health Check scheme is for Adults with Learning Disabilities

The Annual Health Check scheme is for adults with learning disabilities who need more health support and who may otherwise have health conditions that go undetected.

People, aged 18 and over, who have been assessed as having moderate, severe or profound learning disabilities, or people with a mild learning disability who have other complex health needs, are entitled to a free annual health check.

How do you get an Annual Health Check?

Adults with learning disabilities, who are known to their local authority social services, and who are registered with a GP who knows their medical history, should be invited by their GP practice to come for an Annual Health Check.

What happens at an Annual Health Check?

The Annual Health Check lets the person with learning disabilities go to their GP practice and have aspects of their health checked; it also allows them to talk about anything that is worrying them.

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

If the person's learning disability has a specific cause, the GP or practice nurse will often do extra tests for particular health risks. For example, for people with Down syndrome, they may do a test to see whether their thyroid is working properly.

The Annual Health Check may also be a good opportunity to review any transitional arrangements that took place when the patient turned 18.

The GP or practice nurse will also provide the patient with any relevant health information, such as advice on healthy eating, exercise, contraception or stop-smoking support.

More information can be found on the NHS Choices website.

An easy read guide can be viewed or downloaded below as a PDF document.


Annual Health Check Scheme Easy Read Guide [PDF]