We learnt through working with Bexley Mencap and the Advocacy for All, Speaking Up group; that they had tried to access GP practices in the past to highlight the common issues that people with a learning disability face, e.g. not having information displayed in easy read.
They had not been able to access a single GP practice to raise their concerns or make the practices aware that they offer and provide learning disability awareness training for health and social care health professionals. We visited the Big Health Check Day, an event for people with a learning disability and their carers; to find out more about what it is like to visit the GP and have a health check. Many carers expressed concerns about the quality and regularity of local health checks and visits to the GP. We discovered from Bexley CCG that health check, uptake rates locally, needed to be improved.
We worked in partnership with both Bexley Mencap and the Speaking up group, to offer specially adapted Enter and View training to 15 of their members and volunteers who all have a learning disability. Training was delivered wholly in an easy read format, based on the formal Enter & View training and renamed ‘Look and Listen’, to ensure the Enter and View concept made sense to our new volunteers, who are now subsequently known as Look and Listen volunteers. We supported our ‘Look and Listen volunteers’ to visit all 26 GP practices in the borough to view the practices from the perspective of someone with a learning disability. They also spoke to over 450 patients visiting the GP practices and asked them to complete a generic questionnaire. We produced a short report of our findings for each of the 26 GP practices we visited and these were collated to form our overall ’Look and Listen’ report.
- GP practices across the Borough are not working closely enough with the Learning Disability teams at Oxleas to ensure they offer a good health check.
- There is a lack of Learning Disability Awareness training for GP pactice staff.
- Information sent out to patients with a learning disability is not being produced in ‘easy read’ format.
- Learning disability patients are finding it difficult to access their appointments.
- Learning disability patients are not receiving sufficient time for their appointment. It needs to be longer.