GP and patientA South Yorkshire-based NHS Trust has developed a resource folder for GPs packed with useful information to support people with learning disabilities.

The GP resource packs have been devised by the Community Learning Disabilities Health Action Team, which is run by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH).

RDaSH Primary Liaison Nurse Jayne Thompson said: “People with learning disabilities may often have difficulty in recognising illness, communicating their needs, or generally using health and social care services.

“Following the success of similar packs that were introduced at Doncaster Royal Infirmary to support people with learning disabilities when they go into hospital for a planned or emergency stay, we decided to create a folder containing visual aids and tools to help GPs and primary care staff to communicate effectively with someone with a learning disability.

The packs include photo journey booklets, which have clear images and appropriate language to describe a person’s journey through a variety of situations including visits to the opticians and dentist, stopping smoking, as well as breast and cervical screening for women.

There are also visual aids to assist in evaluating and monitoring pain, and general health and wellbeing information in an easy read format.

Jayne added: “The packs have been well received so far and we’ve already had requests to expand our portfolio of photo journey booklets with more scenarios.

“We will work with GPs and practice managers to develop the packs to ensure we continue to provide the best possible support for Doncaster people living with a learning disability to have improved health outcomes.“