Summary of report content
The 10 local Healthwatch in the Greater Manchester area engaged 96 people who gave feedback on learning disability services. This was part of the network-wide NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) project.
The report found, in terms of early intervention, when disabilities are diagnosed there is a mixed picture depending on the nature of the disability and the time when this would normally become apparent as a child develops. Most of the adults in the survey understandably had no memory of the diagnostic process. With regards to maintaining good health, good communication skills from professional and accessible information are seen as key in ensuring people with learning disabilities engage in preventative services and seek medical advice at the earliest opportunity. A good number of people reported not attending health appointments due to not understanding the letters, not understanding what the appointments were for. Many people in the study were supported by personal support workers and family members. People valued this personal support feeling these people were best able to help them with their communications needs in particular. Parents and carers felt that some technology based support for carers and support workers could help, however a lot of the participants struggled with reading and their experiences with everyday technology such as touch screen check in and digital notice boards made them wary of other technological solutions.
The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care (GMHSC) Partnership responded to this report.