People with a learning disability and/or autism must be involved in all decisions about their health and be in control over these choices, if possible. For World Health Day, we are sharing our top tips for ensuring the person you support is included in decisions about their health care.
Prepare before healthcare appointments
Prepare for any health appointments with the person. Cover what will be discussed, how to make the appointment as accessible as possible, questions to ask, how they want you to support them, any questions they want you to ask on their behalf, what to do if they don’t understand what is being said to them.
Keep a record of the person's health history
Ensure their health history is clearly recorded and shared with health professionals.
Don't be afraid to ask for reasonable adjustments
Support the person to attend all appointments and advocate for any reasonable adjustments needed to make this happen. Include the support needed to attend health appointments in their Person Centred Plan and include all the reasonable adjustments needed from Health Care providers.
Ask for easy read information
Request easy read information about relevant health conditions and any treatments or investigations to share with the person you support before or between appointments.
Ensure adjustments are recorded, if needed
With the person’s consent, ask the health professional to put any reasonable adjustments needed on to the person’s health record. This will ensure these are always considered by all health professionals (this is also part of the NHS Accessible Information Standard, for example, easy read letters.)
For more information and resources about supporting people with a learning disability and/or autism with their health, take a look at our Wellbeing for Life: Access to Health Care booklet: