Thurrock: health checks for people with a learning disability goes up by almost a third in one year

I got a bike and I have managed to lose a stone in weight.

In Thurrock, the number of people with a learning disability who had a health check went up by 32 per cent in one year. By the end of 2016/17, 72 per cent of eligible people listed by their GP practice as having a learning disability had an annual health check – up from 40 per cent the year before.

Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group in Essex worked with their 32 GP practices to get an up to date list of everyone recorded as having a learning disability. The GPs invited each of these people to go to their annual health check.

The CCG worked in partnership with Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions CIC who helped to find people missing from the lists. The social enterprise also supported people to get them to their appointments, minimising the number of people who did not attend.

They worked with NHS England’s primary care commissioning team and the GP practices to create a list of nurses and practices who could do the annual health checks. This took pressure off the GP practices who were already busy.

The CCG made the health checks a priority and encouraged GP practices and their nurses to do the same. The area has health hubs who were able to offer annual health checks on evenings and weekends.

The people who went to the health checks said that it was less stressful and they were more likely to go to their next check-up.

“I went to my GP, she had a good look at me and gave me really good paperwork of my annual health plan. I took this to staff and they helped me. I got a bike and I have managed to lose a stone in weight. My GP and staff are pleased and I like riding my new bike, but staff do nag me to always wear my helmet.”

Simon, 30, Thurrock. Simon has a learning disability and lives with support in his own flat

Contact: Jane Itangata,