The Health Liaison Team for Adults with a Learning Disability and the Community Learning Disability Team (CLDT) have been promoting better health care for people with learning disabilities within North Wales for the past seven years. The team's work highlights the significant health needs of people with learning disabilities and promotes access to primary and acute care services. The initiative has included developing learning disability registers within GP surgeries, facilitating a comprehensive health screening programme and developing health action plans. Nurses have developed innovative working practices to support the initiative's goals.
People with learning disabilities are invited for an annual health check at their GP surgery. The health liaison team supports practices in maintaining the learning disabilities register to ensure the appropriate people are invited for the check.
The health check might require blood to be taken to give baseline measurements. Certain conditions such as Down's syndrome and diabetes, and those necessitating regular medication, will require more frequent blood tests. There are members of the general population who don't like having blood taken and although they can rationalise why they need it, these individuals might need some support. Those with learning disabilities who are frightened or needle phobic require an extra level of help and support.