The RCGP's new learning disability commissioning guide points out that at present just a fifth of people with learning disabilities are included on QOF registers. Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) should work with GPs to improve coverage of these QOF registers, it said.
‘Currently QOF registers identify 4.33 people with learning disabilities per 1,000 population, whereas the estimated prevalence of people with learning disabilities in the population is 2%,’ it said. ‘CCGs may find it helpful to examine GP registers locally and devise a strategy to increase the accuracy of their registers.’
The RCGP guide suggests that data from primary care information systems should be aggregated to inform joint strategic needs assessments and future commissioning decisions. ‘Using anonymised data on health needs identified from individual health checks will help inform the commissioning of appropriate services,’ it said.
Bristol GP Dr Matt Hoghton, RCGP clinical champion for learning disabilities, said the good work on learning disabilities being carried out needed to spread more widely.
‘We must act now to ensure that healthcare pathways for these vulnerable patients are firmly in place throughout their lives using partnerships between patients, carers, GPs, specialist community services, social care and secondary care,’ he said.
‘Some areas are already doing this, but it is not widespread across the country and we need to ensure that the care of these patients is seen as a top priority.’