Learning disability health checks
A few weeks ago I highlighted the issue of health inequalities that we experience in Bolton.
I talked about the fact that people living in the most deprived areas of our town had a higher chance of developing a health problem earlier than those in a more affluent area.
Health inequalities can affect a range of communities, ages and gender. And they apply to people living in Bolton compared to other towns and cities.
For example, Bolton residents are likely to live around two years less than people elsewhere in the country.
If you have a learning disability then your life expectancy is reduced even more – by an average of 15 years!
On top of this, people with a learning disability are more likely to suffer from health problems. Often their physical health becomes neglected as their disability is a priority.
If you have a learning disability you are entitled to an annual health check but less than half of patients in England receive one.
Not in Bolton!
We are working hard to try and narrow this gap.
There are around 1,300 patients in Bolton that are registered as having a learning disability and 78 per cent have received a comprehensive and tailored health check with their GP within the last 12 months.
We have always been pretty strong on learning disability health checks, and we encourage GPs to carry out the assessments as part of the Bolton Quality Contract.
The BQC was introduced a few years ago to improve the health of our residents and improve quality of health care via a range of standards that our GPs sign up to.
In Bolton we value the health of our entire population and aim to provide equal access to health care for everyone.