An understanding of the nature of intellectual disability is essential for health care professionals, who are required to support equal access to their services for all disabled people.
The internet provides easier access to health information than ever before, but is it enabling us to lead healthier lives?
The author reviews Valuing People's policy, the limited progress in taking the agenda forward between 2001 and 2006,outlining some key actions that should be taken to promote better health outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities.
Healthcare Decision-Making By Adults with Intellectual Disabilities: Some Levers To Changing Practice
A number of factors have been suggested to explain the poorer health status of people with intellectual disabilities, including ignorance of health needs associated with particular disabilities, and the inadequate provision of social and professional support mechanisms for people with intellectual disabilities and their families.
Down's Syndrome is a genetic condition which is the commonest identifiable cause of intellectual disability, accounting for almost one third of cases. It occurs equally in all races with an overall incidence rate of approximately 1 in 800 births.
The overall objective of Valuing People was to enable people with learning disabilities to access a health service designed around their individual needs, with fast and convenient care delivered to a consistently high standard and, with additional support where necessary.
This article describes the expected health needs of people with intellectual disabilities in the community and how best to identify and address these needs.
In almost all situations a competent adult's decision must be respected, and where a person lacks the capacity to make the necessary decisions it would not be unlawful to act, providing it is in his/her best interests. The exception is the treatment of a person's mental disorder.
The best bits are when a person tells me: "I've just seen Jackie and she's so much stronger than the person I met eight years ago - is that because you're supporting her?"
Valuing People: A New Strategy for Learning Disability for the 21st Century. An extract from the White Paper published in 2000.
Why it is important for People with Intellectual Disabilities to have a voice of their own
There have been major improvements in values, skills and services, but also a marked decline in some areas, notably the management of the transition from childhood to adulthood.
It is important to know who has intellectual disabilities in Primary Care. There are ways of identifying someone without embarrassing them. These tips may be helpful from the moment the person with intellectual disabilities contacts the GP. People with intellectual disabilities need to have sufficient time to allow them to speak for themselves.
It is no longer acceptable for organisations to view people with intellectual disabilities as passive recipients of services; they must be seen as active partners.
The author raises concerns about what will happen to her daughter with Down's syndrome when her mother is no longer around to support her. She suggests one helpful solution, a 'Wellness Book'. The article is followed by two commentaries from different perspectives.
Acting gives us all freedom of expression. We've got quite a few actors who can't talk, and acting really gives them a chance to express how they feel in mime.
Commentary on Working with the Baked Bean Theatre Company
A medical student in New Zealand reflects on a family placement, showing how his encounters with a three-year-old boy changed his understanding of the meaning of disability in someone’s life.
This article considers an ethical dilemma confronted by a junior doctor on a specialist learning disabilities team, and discusses the challenges and pressures implicit in this, together with the absolute necessity not to compromise ethical values.
This article highlights problems encountered by people with intellectual disabilities when they seek to access healthcare. Four key domains for change (practice, education, policy and research) are explored and some practical strategies for achieving change are identified.
Including people with intellectual disabilities in mainstream health services : Government policy in England since 2001
People with intellectual disabilities experience health inequalities that health services have a duty to address. However, despite numerous reports on poor healthcare for people with learning disabilities, and some attempt to address the issues raised within policy, many health services are still failing people with intellectual disabilities. This article, updated in 2017, describes the policy response in England to the numerous reports on poor healthcare for people with intellectual disabilities since Valuing People 2001.
Do not attempt resuscitation, end-of-life decision-making and associated directives, and their implications for people with intellectual disabilities
This article addresses how legal provisions for people choosing where and how they die, such as advance directives and lasting powers of attorney for health and welfare, affect those with intellectual disabilities.
The Landmark 19th of March 2014 Supreme Court judgement: The judgement and how do we see Deprivation of Liberty now?
An overview of the 19th of March 2014 Supreme Court judgement and the effects that this judgement is continuing to have on the care of people subject to ‘Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards’.
Being Alert: Changing culture, shaping care – getting care right for people with intellectual disabilities
Accessing health services when you need them is difficult for everyone but particularly for people with an intellectual disability and their families and supporters.
How unusual is Anya? "The fact that Anya has achieved such normality in her life against all the odds is an enormous tribute to her and her family."
This article considers ways of ensuring key health issues are not overlooked in people with intellectual disabilities.