NHS Free Annual Health Check for People with LD aged 14+
The NHS offers a free health check every year for people with learning disabilities aged 14 years and above. NHS England have issued guidance for GP practices to improve the identification of people with learning disabilities and flagging for annual health checks on GP records:
- in 2017 to 2018 147,181 checks were done. This was 13,219 more than the previous year
- in 2017 to 2018, 52% of people with learning disabilities known to their family doctor GP had a check. This was up from 49% the previous year
- learning disability health checks are done by GPs and the nurses who work with them. Not all GP practices do learning disability health checks, but this number is going up too
- in 2017 to 2018, 90% of general practices did at least one learning disability health check. This was up from 84% the previous year
- 95% of patients on GP learning disabilities registers were with a practice doing health checks. This was up from 92% the previous year
- management information tells us more about the performance of the general practices that did do learning disability health checks. These practices:
- did checks for 57% of people with learning disabilities known to them – this was up from 52% the previous year
- did checks for more people aged 18 and older with learning disabilities (58%, up from 53%) than younger people aged 14 to 17 (37%, up from 33%)
- of practices that did health checks, 88% recorded providing Health Action Plans. This was up from 84% the previous year
Source: DfE 2020
Health and Care of People with Learning Disabilities
NHS Digital: Click here to see the report and Further information.
Medical Needs of Pupils in our SEND Schools
Medical conditions have additional complexities in children with learning disabilities, sometimes exacerbated through low awareness, high pain thresholds and language barriers. Attendance at our schools is high despite the need for children to attend specialist provision in London and further afield, to monitor and analyse various conditions and needs. Children may be on or off medication through trials or stabilising their medications across a range of factors as well as supporting individuals with intolerances, allergies and side-effects.
DFE's Keeping children safe in education: Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016
DFE publication: Guidance: Mental Health (2016).
Pupils' Medical Conditions & Needs
Not all medical needs are listed here, for a variety of reasons. However, this list helps us ensure our provision is carefully monitored and children's health needs are managed as well as their education and care needs. Other cognitive disabilities are not listed here as they are not supported by prescribed medication/OT exercise/surgery. All of these medical needs further impact on a child's learning disability and, vice-versa.
- Allergic reactions to medication
- Allergic reactions to nuts, bites, pollen, plasters etc.
- Aplasia Cutis
- Asthma - mild and chronic
- Attachment Disorder
- Attention Deficit Disorder
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Bladder control
- Bulbar Palsy
- Cerebral Palsy
- Chromosome Deletion
- Cleft lip and palate
- Down's Syndrome
- Foetal Alcohol Syndrome
- Fragile X Syndrome
- Glue Ear
- Growth Hormone Deficiency
- Hearing Impairment
- Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia
- High Anxiety
- Impulsive Aggression
- Narrowing Aorta
- Nissen Fundoplication
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Oppositional Defiance Disorder
- Oral Dyspraxia
- Physical Dysgraphia
- Respiratory Disorders
- Hyper sensitivity to synthetic materials
- Sensory Based Motor Disorder
- Sensory Modulation Disorder
- Sensory Processing Disorder
- Skeletal Dysplasia
- Sleep Disorder
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Travel Sickness
- Visual Impairment
- Williams Syndrome
- Winter Baraitser Syndrome
Wellbeing & Mental Health
Mental Health issues affect many of us. Those with cognitive disabilities are 6 times more likely to develop mental health issues than neurotypical learners.
Below you can find plenty of links and documents that explain the benefits of practising wellbeing and looking after your mental health.
- Wellbeing Support for Parents/Carers
- Young Minds - supporting young people's mental health and wellbeing
Parents/carers should also be aware of this free online counselling service recommended by Healthy Young Minds in Herts for 10-25 year olds. Kooth.com can be accessed by clicking here.
Top Tips From The NHS
Pupil Mental Health
BBC News 2018: There has been a sharp rise in mentally ill children aged under 11
- "20% of adolescents may experience a mental health problem in any given year.
- These numbers increase with 'special needs' due to social exclusion / avoidance.
- 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24.
- 10% of children and young people (aged 5-16 years) have a clinically diagnosable mental problem, yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age."
Wellbeing is integral to our philosophy. Mental health can have a profound effect on everyone, including our students. Giving them space to calm and interact with sensory equipment is crucial to their academic and social development.
Classes (like Ravens, pictured below) thoroughly enjoy sensory sessions which aim focus on their wellbeing - relaxing and having fun!
Staff Mental Health
In a 2017 Education Support Partnership survey of school staff undertaken by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, they found 75% UK education professionals experience behavioural, physical or psychological symptoms as a result of mental health issues relating to work. 32% of teachers felt stressed most or all of the time, increasing to 38% of senior school leaders. In comparison, this compares to 18% of the working population.
We seek to reduce teacher workload and support staff wellbeing, though this is extremely challenging when finances are insufficient.
Significant challenges to our schools include the reduction of services around the child, which fall onto the school and its staff to support in the absence of these.