The prevalence rates of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes were identified to be higher in people with a learning disability compared to the general population. Higher rates of obesity were also seen in people with a learning disability compared to those without.
The above risks can be reduced by greater understanding of the needs of people with a learning disability and adapting existing lifestyle programmes.
As part of the NHS RightCare Pathway for diabetes, a supporting document detailing the type of reasonable adjustments needed for people with a learning disability and diabetes, and why they are needed, has been produced to ensure that they whole population receive the same level of care and expected outcomes.
The types of reasonable adjustments are seen to be particularly essential at tests and investigations; structured support programmes; weight management programmes; supported self-management of diabetes; and personalised care planning.
Addressing reasonable adjustments for people with diabetes and a learning disability will not only improve diagnosis but has other benefits including reductions in; complications arising from diabetes, e.g. amputations; diabetes related A&E attendances; visits to GP; and missed appointments.
For commissioners, reasonable adjustments support the understanding of your population, increase the uptake of Health Checks, avoids unnecessary hospital admissions and lengthy hospital stays; supports a healthy lifestyle for all and provides structured education and self-management for everyone in your population affected by diabetes.