The benefits of annual health checks

Have you had your annual health check yet?

People with a learning disability need to take care of their health and have regular health support to make sure they stay as healthy as possible. 

Young people and adults are entitled to a full health check every year.

It is up to all of us, including friends, parents, carers, doctors and people who work with us to make sure none of us miss out.

Joe Wastell, age 26, Rochester

People who have a learning disability are at risk of poorer physical and mental health than other people

This is because:

  • they might not get the right kind of medical care 
  • their medical needs may not be recognised
  • they may not be listened to fully.

A free NHS health check every year can help keep these young people and adults fit and well

Sometimes people with learning disabilities do not realise they have a health problem which could put them at risk of serious long-term illness.

An annual health check can help you or the person you care for to:

  • learn about how to stay healthy and fit
  • detect illnesses before they become serious
  • get help and advice when they need it from the right person
  • learn how to look after themselves more so they stay independent and healthy.

Make sure you take a look at our patient leaflet for guidance. 

You need to be on your doctor's learning disability register

All people aged 14 or over with a learning disability are entitled to a free health check every year. But they need to be on their doctor’s learning disability register.

Talk to the doctor and make sure you or the person you care for, is on the register, and make an appointment for an annual health check.

In Medway, only about 5 out of 10 people have their health check. Like Joe, we think that 5 out of 10 is not enough. We want as many people as possible to get on their doctor’s learning disability register and have a health check every year.

If you look after or care for someone over 14 who has a learning disability, please support them to get on the register and have their health check as soon as possible.

You can also share with them our easy read patient leaflet for guidance.