Contact welcomes NHS England guidance to tackle health inequalities

3 mins read

Wednesday 19 August 2020

Contact welcomes new NHS England guidance directing local health services to speed up work to tackle health inequalities including for young people with learning disabilities. 

The guidance, issued on 7th August, urges GPs and local health leaders to take “‘urgent action” to close the health equality gap as they set about restoring non-Covid services. 

NHS England said Covid-19 had “shone harsh light” on persistent health inequalities for certain groups including people learning disabilities, people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities and people living in poorer areas.

The guidance – Implementing phase 3 of the NHS response to the COVID-19 – says GPs must see 67% of people on their learning disability register for an annual health check  by 31 March 2021. 

And more effort must be made to increase low flu vaccine uptake among people with learning disabilities, especially people from BAME backgrounds. 

In addition, all children and young people with a learning disability should be included on GP learning disability registers, and young people aged 14 and over should be offered an annual health check.  

Contact welcomes this guidance from NHS England, who we are working closely with to develop a campaign to improve the uptake of the Learning Disability Annual Health Checks. 

The new guidance says local mental health transformation plans “must pay particular attention” to improving access and outcomes for children and young people with neurodevelopmental disorders, among others. 

And NHS services must actively protect the most vulnerable from Covid-19, restore services “inclusively” and closely monitor vulnerable groups using digital “pathways” for GP, mental health, and outpatient services.

Advice for your family on accessing health services

We have lots of information on our website about health services, including helping you navigate the NHS, tips on appointments tips for GPs, hospital admissions and heath passports, and children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

See also GP annual health checks for children with learning disabilities [PDF] – a factsheet explaining how parents can get on the learning disability register and access an Annual Health Check for their child.

We have also co-produced two resources aimed at GPs and health professionals: