Access All Areas – a big step towards Annual Health Checks

Staying healthy is important to everyone but getting the information you need is not always easy – especially if you have a learning disability or autism.

So it’s not surprising that the ‘Access All Areas’ event, held on Thursday 13 September at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, was such a success. The first event of its kind in the Buckinghamshire attracted nearly 250 visitors, and saw 100 people from organisations across the county come together to help address the health inequalities people with learning disability or autism can face.

Over 36 health and social care exhibition stands provided advice and support. These included Nclude, BuDs, Healthy Minds, Bucks Safe Places, Autism Bucks, Audiology and Hearing Therapy Services (BHT) and Speech and Language Therapy (HPFT).

There was also plenty of hands on activities aimed at eating well and staying active such as a smoothie bike, an asthma bus, healthy cooking demonstrations, yoga and even a shooting range.

Access All Areas is just one way that the Transforming Care Partnership is helping to improve the health and wellbeing of people with a learning disability or autism in Buckinghamshire. As part of this they want to encourage more people to sign up for Annual Health Checks with their GP.

Annual Health checks are for adults and young people aged 14 or over with a learning disability. Learning Disabilities annual health checks are different from the wider NHS health check scheme. They are designed to pick up a bigger range of unmet health needs – whereas regular NHS health checks focus on reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease. Evidence shows that learning disabilities health checks can identify previously unrecognised health needs, including those associated with life-threatening illnesses

Dr Sian Roberts said: “Transforming Care partnerships around the UK are working hard to improve to the lives of people with a learning disability or autism. We wanted to do something different, practical and fun to make people aware of what help and support was available. Hopefully people went away knowing a bit more about what is available to help them stay well – and what they can do themselves to stay healthy. Health checks are a big part of this and can help people with learning disabilities use health services better, so getting more people to sign up would be a big step forward.”

According to NHS research around 1,200 people with a learning disability die each year from preventable illness. The life expectancy of women with a learning disability is 18 years shorter than women in the general population, for men it is 14 years shorter (NHS Digital 2017).

Gill Quinton, Executive Director for Communities Health and Adult Social Care at Buckinghamshire County Council, said: “Access All Areas owes its success to all the volunteers and staff who came together to show just what help and support is available for people with a learning disability or autism, their parents and carers. We are also very grateful for the ‘in kind’ and financial support we received from sponsors such as Morrisons, Possum, Misbourne Rotary, Aylesbury Masons and Premier Systems – without whom we would not have been able to offer a free event to both visitors and exhibitors.”

Anyone wanting to go on their GPs Learning Disability Register and have an Annual Health Check should ask at their local surgery.

Full List of Exhibitors:


Animal Antiks

Asthma Bus

Ategi Shared Lives

Audiology and Hearing Therapy Department

Autism Bucks


Brokerage and Direct Payments


Buckinghamshire Adult Learning

Buckinghamshire Disability Service (BuDS)

Buckinghamshire Disability Task Group

Buckinghamshire Family Information Service – BFIS

Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service

Buckinghamshire Libraries

Bucks Priority Dental Service

Bucks Safe Places Scheme

Bucks SEND IAS Service


Carers Bucks

Community Nurses Team Children & YP With A Learning Disability

Healthy Minds Bucks- Primary Mental Health Service

HPFT – LD Nursing

HPFT – Nursing and Speech and Language Therapy

Learning Disability Liaison Nurses

Live Well Stay Well

Live Well Stay Well (Health Checks)

Missenden Walled Garden

NAS Aylesbury Vale Branch (AVNAS)

National Careers Service


NRS Healthcare

One Recovery Bucks and Switch Bucks


Relate Mid Thames and Buckinghamshire

Sees The Day Ltd


Thames Valley Police

The Princes Risborough Centre Ltd