Learning Disabilities & Autism

A resource hub for professionals working to transform care for individuals with a learning disability and autistic people across the South West.

National resources are available on the NHS England learning disabilities web pages.

Supporting people during coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on individuals with a learning disability and autistic people. Find out more via our website and access the latest government guidance via GOV.UK. Additionally resources are being updated regularly on the Public Health England Campaign Resource Centre.

Health and social care professionals working in the South West can join our regional workspace on Future NHS Collaboration platform for the latest resources, guidance and to discuss and collaborate with colleagues.

Learning Disabilities Mortality Review

NHS England and NHS Improvement is committed to making sure that people with learning disabilities receive the right care in the right settings, with the right support. This is one of our national priorities. We know that we urgently need to understand and reduce health inequalities amongst this group, which is why, as part of our programme of work we have commissioned the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) Programme.

The LeDeR programme is the first of its kind in the world and is managed by the Norah Fry Research Centre at the University of Bristol, under contract to the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP). Funding is provided by NHS England for an initial three year period to June 2018.

Communicating accessibly

Easy read is a form of accessible writing which helps us meet our legal duty to communicate accessibly – vital given as of the 1st August 2016; all organisations that provide NHS care or adult social care are legally required to follow the Accessible Information Standard.

If you work within a Transforming Care Partnership and need support producing easy read material please contact England.learningdisabilityandautism-SW@nhs.net

Resource hub for professionals

People with learning disabilities who are registered with a GP, and on their GP’s learning disabilities register, should be called for an annual health check. But we know only about a quarter of all those entitled to the check, actually receive it. NHS England and Improvement wants to get this number up to 75%.


Increasing the uptake of Annual Health Checks in the South West (videos)

NHS England and NHS Improvement South West have created a new suite of videos to assist healthcare professionals to increase the uptake of annual health checks for people with learning disabilities. Created with support from the West of England Academic Health Science Network, it is a collaboration with the West of England Learning Disability Collaborative as being one of the improvement aims to build more opportunities for improved uptake of Annual Health Checks in the South West.

The suite of videos also has a focus for carers and families who care for people with learning disabilities, who may want to learn more about the process. As well as featuring the Misfits Theatre Company from Bristol, aimed at people with a learning disability, to assist them and manage their own oral health to avoid future complications, plus how a Health Action Plan can be of benefit.


For healthcare professionals 

For carers, families and people with a learning disability 


GP Practice Support Pack 2020

GP practices should ensure that everybody with a learning disability is identified on their register; that their annual health checks are completed; and access to screening and flu vaccinations is proactively arranged. (This is supported by existing payment arrangements and the new support intended through the Impact and Investment Fund to improve uptake.)

This support pack has been developed to help practices deliver annual health checks for people with learning disabilities during covid and beyond. Further support and guides include:


Don’t Miss Out campaign

Mencap’s Don’t Miss Out campaign includes a host of materials you can use to help increase annual health checks:


Facebook graphics:

Twitter graphics:


Guides and templates

Created by Mencap with NHS England’s support for people with a learning disability, their families and carers:


Royal College of GPs (RCGP) step-by-step toolkit

The RCGP, in partnership with the Clinical Innovation and Research Centre, developed and published a step-by-step toolkit focussed on annual health checks for people with learning disabilities. The toolkit collects guidance and resources to help GPs, practice nurses and the primary administration team organise and perform quality AHCs on people with a learning disability.

Access this toolkit via the RCGP website.

Cervical screening can detect early changes to avoid cervical cancer developing but the number of women attending for screening is falling year on year. Fewer than 1 in 3 eligible females with a learning disability received cervical cancer screening, showing no change from 2014-15.

Here are some resources to support you to get the message out about this important cancer prevention initiative :



People with learning disabilities and their carers (family member or support worker) can have a free flu vaccination to help them stay well this winter. Download and use this communications toolkit to raise awareness locally. High resolution resources (highlighted in the toolkit) are available below:




For more information about or support using this toolkit please contact: england.learningdisabilityandautism-sw@nhs.net


Grab pack for professionals:





Grab sheets developed by the SW health network flu project team:

In the UK, women with learning disabilities are the least likely to attend breast screening. You can help encourage more take up by using the resources below:

Graphics suitable for print (e.g. newsletters, magazines) and online (e.g. website, Facebook)

Suitable for Twitter

Additional resources:

Template Easy Read letters developed in Cornwall