Health checks by GPs 'should cover mental health'

Health checks at GP practices should include mental health assessments 'as a matter of routine' to boost support for people with autism and learning disabilities, experts have warned.

Consultation: GP health checks should cover mental health
Consultation: GP health checks should cover mental health

People with autism and learning disabilities suffer a 'double whammy' because they have an above average need for mental health support but find it more difficult than many other patients to access the help they need, according to the NHS Confederation's mental health network.

The concerns were identified in a study commissioned by the network, and have fed into a report calling on commissioners and providers to improve care for these patients.

The report calls for health checks at GP practices to routinely cover mental health, and for appointment times and durations to be adjusted to suit people with autism or learning disabilities.

It calls for information on mental health services to be made more widely available in accessible formats.

The network's interim director Paddy Cooney said: 'Public sector bodies are legally obliged to make reasonable adjustments to make sure their services are as accessible and effective for people with any protected characteristic, including learning disabilities or autism.

'But our researchers found that while there are some excellent examples of where mental health services are helping people with a learning disability or autism, these are not yet common across England.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

London GP personally calling at-risk patients to boost COVID-19 vaccine uptake

London GP personally calling at-risk patients to boost COVID-19 vaccine uptake

London GP Dr Farzana Hussain is personally telephoning scores of patients who have...

Half of patients with possible cancer symptoms avoided contacting GP in first wave

Half of patients with possible cancer symptoms avoided contacting GP in first wave

Almost half of people who experienced potential cancer symptoms in the first wave...

GP premises need major investment to let PCNs recruit, warns BMA

GP premises need major investment to let PCNs recruit, warns BMA

Primary care networks (PCNs) are struggling to make use of hundreds of millions of...

NHS unveils £4.2m fund to tackle vaccine inequality

NHS unveils £4.2m fund to tackle vaccine inequality

CCGs with low uptake of COVID-19 vaccine in ethnic minority, marginalised or deprived...

150,000 more people with learning disabilities prioritised for COVID-19 vaccine

150,000 more people with learning disabilities prioritised for COVID-19 vaccine

Around 150,000 more people will be prioritised for COVID-19 vaccination after the...