Learning Disability Week – Access All Areas

An estimated 1,200 people with a learning disability die from preventable illness every year. On average women with a learning disability die 18 years sooner, and men with a learning disability die 14 years sooner than the general population in England. That’s why this Learning Disability week (18-24 June) events are happening across the country to focus on improving healthcare for people with a learning disability.

As part of the county’s ‘Transforming Care Partnership’ group; GP’s, the County Council, Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, and many other health and social care professionals in Buckinghamshire are backing Learning Disability Week by encouraging anyone with a learning disability or autism to register with their GP for an Annual Health Check.

Dr Sian Roberts, Mental Health and Learning Disability Clinical Director, said: “Annual Health checks are one way of making sure that people with a learning disability stay as healthy as possible. The checks can pick up early signs of a problem, and even prevent problems arising in the first place. It’s easy to arrange just contact your surgery and ask how you can make an appointment for this important health check.

“We know that there are over 6,000 people in Buckinghamshire that have a learning disability, yet around only 2,000 are accessing services. So if you, or someone you know has a learning disability – even if you are not already receiving health or social care – please make sure you stay that way by looking after your health and registering for a FREE Annual Health Check.”

The Transforming Health Partnership Group have arranged their own event for later in the year called [Access All Areas], to help address health inequalities in the county. Access All Areas is FREE to attend and will take place on Thursday 13 September 10.30am-4pm at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Aylesbury. With over 30 health, fitness, social care and wellbeing exhibitors and plenty of hands on demonstrations the event is a must for anyone with a learning disability. Register your interest as a group or individual and get tickets by emailing communications@buckscc.gov.uk

Lin Hazell, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “People with a learning disability get worse healthcare than people without. Every single year hundreds of people with a learning disability die when their death could have been avoided if they had got good healthcare.

“Access All Areas is a chance for anyone with a learning disability or autism, their carers, family and support workers to find out exactly what is on offer to keep them fit and healthy. We want to encourage them all to attend, especially those 4,000 people who do not seem to be accessing services. Save the date [September 13], coming to Access All Areas could save a life.”