The SNP Government has allocated £2 million to the North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership and others, to help them deliver annual health checks for all people with learning disabilities in the local community.
The new service will help to address health inequalities by ensuring they are able to have any health issues identified and treated as quickly as possible.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“Unfortunately, people with learning disabilities can experience poorer health than the rest of the population while it can also be more challenging for them to recognise or communicate symptoms and to get diagnosed.
“Evidence suggests that people in this group are twice as likely to die from preventable illness and these annual checks will help to address this.”
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.”