14 Care of People with Learning Disabilities

This section of our curriculum guide refers to statement 14, Care of People with Learning Disabilities, produced by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

Patients with learning disabilities represent a small but significant proportion of a GP’s caseload. Patients with learning disabilities have an increased incidence of psychiatric illness, epilepsy and behavioural difficulties. Morbidity and mortality rates are considerably increased and life expectancy significantly reduced.

In managing patients with learning disabilities, GPs need to be aware of likely associated conditions and knowing where to obtain specialist help and advice, understand how psychiatric and physical illness may present atypically in patients with learning disabilities, and use additional skills of diagnosis and examination in patients unable to describe or verbalise symptoms.

Here we have collated key articles from our journals to help you meet the curriculum requirements in this area.

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NICE recommends GP autistic register for QOF

GPs could be asked to develop a national autism register to help end the 'invisibility'...

Clinical review: Down's syndrome

The aetiology of Down's syndrome, the screening process and management of comorbidities...

Learning disabilities study uses GP data to highlight health gap

The largest-ever study into the health of people with learning disabilities in England...

Paediatric medicine - Cerebral palsy

Diagnosis and management of cerebral palsy, including recognising signs in infants...

CSA troubleshooting: 2 - Consulting with disabled patients

In the second of this 10-part series, Dr MeiLing Denney discusses consulting with...

Blood test: health checks reduce health inequalities for patients with learning disabilities

GP checks on patients with learning disabilities 'cut health inequalities'

An enhanced service that incentivises annual health checks for people with learning...

RCGP: health checks for young adults with learning disabilities are vital

RCGP urges GPs to prepare for 'vital' expansion of learning disabilities DES

GPs should begin organising how they will provide additional health checks to thousands...

Advanced consulting - Consulting with patients with learning disabilities

Improve your communication with patients who have learning disabilities. By Dr Tom...

GPs need reliable information that can be used during consultations with patients with learning disabilities (Photograph: Haymarket Medical/Jason Heath Lancy)

New online resource for patients with learning disabilities

The new charity website easyhealth.org.uk has digitalised hundreds of health leaflets...

At the beginning of the consultation ask the patient or carer if they have any concerns or worries (Photograph: SPL)

Health checks for adults with a learning disability

Many health needs can be dealt with in primary care, explains Dr Matt Hoghton.

RCGP Curriculum - 15.8 Respiratory Problems

This section of our curriculum guide refers to statement 15.8, Respiratory Problems,...

Co-ordination difficulties can be tested for and must normally be present in at least two settings

Paediatric medicine - Development co-ordination disorder

Consider the symptoms and treatments for DCD, by Professor Amanda Kirby.