Funding to support people with learning disabilities.
Health boards are to share £2 million to deliver annual health checks for all people with learning disabilities.
The new service will help to address health inequalities and ensure that people in this group are able to have any health issues identified and treated as quickly as possible.
Health checks will be delivered in the local community.
Mental Wellbeing Minister Kevin Stewart said:
“Unfortunately we know that people with learning disabilities can experience poorer health than the rest of the population. Evidence suggests that people in this group are twice as likely to die from preventable illness. This is clearly unacceptable and I hope these annual checks will help to address this and begin to reduce this health inequality.
“Health issues like respiratory disorders, diabetes and thyroid problems can become serious if picked up too late. But if they are detected and treated early there’s a much better chance of a positive outcome and a good quality of life. That is where these annual health checks will be so valuable.”
Eddie McConnell, Chief Executive of Down’s Syndrome Scotland, said: “This is a really significant moment in the lives of people with learning disabilities and their families. The rollout of the annual health checks across Scotland has the potential to be a game-changer in improving the health outcomes for this community who deserve equal access to good health. It is no exaggeration to say that a well-implemented annual health check could save lives.”
Community Learning Disability Nurse, Sharon Bandeen, who has an adult son with Down’s Syndrome, said: “The new health checks are a welcome additional layer of good health practice for people with learning disabilities in Scotland. It is so important that everyone living with a learning disability has equal access to the health checks, no matter where they live in Scotland.”
The funding for health checks will reach boards in June.
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