Health screening for adults with Learning Disabilites, Devon

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Summary of report content

In 2013, Healthwatch Devon, in conjunction with Devon Link Up, was asked to seek information from people with learning disabilities about their experiences of health screening. Devon Link Up is a delivery partner of Healthwatch Devon and works to give people with Learning Disabilities in Devon a real Voice and Choice about things that are important in their lives. The two groups organised a series of events across the Devon County Council area to hold conversations with people about health screening. Over 80 people attended these groups. While the majority of people spoken to have regular contact with their GP surgery and attended an annual health check. The annual health check form was used as an aid to prompt discussion and, while it was evident very few people had been asked about their smoking or drinking habits, nobody who attended the events said that they had been asked about any sexual relationships. Only seven people of the attendees said they had attended a screening, with the remainder reporting that they had not attended, and could not remember being sent a request to attend. The report concludes that while it is it is clear that general health checks are undertaken, there are relevant questions that are being overlooked and these clearly link to the importance of the screening programme. Although those spoken to did not appear to be being offered the opportunity to attend screening there may also be influences in relation to information gatekeeping which could be examined, as should the role of GPs in identifying those who may be at greater risk due to lifestyle choices.

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General details

Report title 
Health screening for adults with Learning Disabilites, Devon
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Devon
Date of publication 
Sunday, 1 September, 2013
Date evidence capture began 
Sunday, 1 September, 2013
Date evidence capture finished 
Sunday, 1 September, 2013
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Consent to care and treatment
Health inequalities
Health promotion
Health protection
Holistic support
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Staff attitudes
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
How was the information collected? 
Engagement Event
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Diagnostic and/or screening service - single handed sessional providers
GP practice
Community services 

Details about conditions and diseases

What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.