Moving toward change, embracing reasonable adjustment
Perform an annual health checkInitiate an annual health check for people with an intellectual disability. This will help you to be proactive in identifying health needs as they appear.
- Royal College of General Practitioners: Health checks for people with learning disabilities toolkit
- Surrey Health Action: Easy Read Health Checklists
- University of Hertfordshire: Annual Health Checks for People with Intellectual Disabilities in General Practice
Develop a health check passportAn easy read passport will help keep key information at hand. Clinic or hospital appointments are captured, as well as individual needs and key information is conveyed to all health care workers.
- Surrey Health Action: My Care Passport
- University of Hertfordshire: Passport to health
- National Health Service: Health Care Passport
Identify the expertsAre there specialists trained in intellectual disability, such as an ‘Intellectual Disability Liaison Nurse’, who may be available to consult with? This can be a useful contact and support for all.
Promote education among your professional colleaguesAs the phrase goes “Through Education, Change Can Occur”. Here are some relevant research articles you may wish to share with your colleagues about improving care for people with an intellectual disability.
- Friese and Ailey (2015) Specific standards of care for adults with intellectual disabilities. Nursing Management. 22 (1) 32-37
- Robertson et al. (2010) Health checks for people with learning disabilities: a systematic review of evidence. In Improving Health and Lives: Learning Disabilities Observatory.
Adopt the values of reasonable adjustment in your practiceIn doing so, you can raise awareness with your colleagues and acknowledge the different healthcare needs and barriers that exist for people with intellectual disability:
- University of Hartfordshire: Welcoming a patient with Intellectual Disabilities into General Practice: Reasonable Adjustments in Primary Care.
Reflecting on these resources
- Have you used any of these resources or applications before in your practice?
- Do you think they would be useful? Why / why not?
- Are there barriers that would you face in implementing a health check passport, for example?
Improving Health Assessments for People with an Intellectual Disability
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