Uplands School

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Annual Health Checks

Given the intense pressures of COVID-19, First Option Healthcare have been commissioned by the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon & Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group to help support local GP surgeries at this difficult time with part 1 and part 2 of the annual health checks for people with learning disabilities. First Option Healthcare have been working across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon & Wiltshire since February 2021 and have completed part one of the health check for over 1300 individuals since they started.

From September 2022 up to the end of 2022, First Option Healthcare will be able to extend their offer and can complete part one of the health check for any young person 14 + on the learning disability register, at Uplands School.

 What is an Annual Health Check?

The health check is a holistic view of the patient and a recognised, evidenced method of improving the health of individuals with learning disabilities. In part one of the health check, a nurse will record your young person’s height, weight, blood pressure and have discussions around health promotion. They will also take blood as per the usual health check with the GP. Blood tests play an important part in assessing, monitoring and treating the health of people. Therefore, it is important to find a way to make the procedure possible, even for people who are needle phobic. The nurses will be trained to support individuals with needle phobia, and this government page provides a wealth of resources that can be used to support individuals on this: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/blood-tests-and-people-with-learning-disabilities/blood-tests-for-people-with-learning-disabilities-making-reasonable-adjustments-guidance

The results of the health check will be fed directly back to their GP surgery after analysis in the laboratory and the GP will file and retain all records, as they usually would. These health checks are vital to ensure your young person remains safe and clinically well, as part of the appointment the nurse will also review and update your child’s health action plan.

Poor uptake of health checks are proven to lead to earlier diagnoses of life limiting conditions.

As a parent or carer, you are welcome to attend the health check with your young person, this may be essential for example, if the young person is non-verbal. A urine sample is also helpful and forms part of the health check (a sample bottle will be provided when we receive your consent forms back). We know it can be easier for young people to provide a sample from the comfort of their own home, therefore this can be brought in with them to their health check in school. With young people who wear continent pads there is a product available where a sample can be obtained. Further information regarding these products can be found here: https://farlamedical.co.uk/products/sterisets-newcastle-urine-collection-pack 

You can also find useful information, including links to videos and information on reasonable adjustments and what an annual health check is on the NHS website and Mencap websites: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/learning-disabilities/annual-health-checks/

Who are First Option Healthcare?

First Option Healthcare are a care company who support young people and adults living with complex care needs. They are a team of specialist staff trained to work in a variety of clinical settings. They can also signpost you to any additional support services you may require. Shoenagh Mackay is the National Lead for First Option Healthcare as a Registered Learning Disability Nurse (RLDN), with over 25 years of nursing care and will be involved with the project.

Covid-19 Infection Control Management

The practitioners will be operating within COVID-19 safe parameters and ensure the allocated space meets the highest infection control measures.

A hard copy consent form will be sent home (or follow the link, Student Consent Form) with your young person. Please complete and return it to school as soon as possible - thanks.