Learning Disabilities

Under Review — this page was due to be reviewed by 10/08/2021. The information shown here may be outdated.

Beyond Words, a charity that provides books and training to support people who find pictures easier to understand than words, has a selection of useful Covid-related resources on its Coping with Coronavirus page.

Area specific guidance for Islington

Tips for successful remote consultations with patients with additional needs

To make consultations with patients who have additional needs, such as learning disabilities, as successful as possible, it can be hellpful to:

  • Allow more time for them
  • Check regularly that the patient is finding the consultation helpful
  • Consider whether other forms of communication would be more suitable
  • Augment the consultation with written material and follow up via email
  • Have family members or carers present
  • Apply a lower threshold for a comfort follow-up call the next day than you would normally.

See the downloads section (click on show more) for easy read advice on coping with Covid-19, staying safe and staying at home, for both those with learning disabilites and their carers. Mencap has also produced easy-read advice explaining about Covid-19.

Useful information

Easy-read patient information leaflets on a variety of conditions and medications can be accessed via the EasyHealth websiteThe Royal College of Psychiatrists also has resources and leaflets available for people with learning disabilities in easy-read format and for their carers and clinicians. This includes information about capacity and consent.

NHS England has produced a series of leaflets to help families and carers of people with a learning disability know the signs of constipation, which can have fatal consequences more often in this group than in the population as a whole, and what to do if you think someone is constipated.

Initiatives to stop over-medication

STOMP and STAMP are initiatives to stop over-medication and support appropriate treatment in children with learning disabilities. This leaflet provides information on STOMP and STAMP to help families become more involved in discussion regarding psychotropic medication.

How to prepare your patient for a hospital visit

  • Ask the patient's carer to fill in a Hospital Passport for them to take into hospital
  • Encourage the patient to watch UCLH's videos prior to their visit
  • Notify the LD liaison nurse at the hospital that the person is coming in
  • Royal Free London: Sarah Lally 020 7794 0500 ext 39517/07903 225 052 s.lally@nhs.net and Tamara McNamara 07931 290 623/020 8216 4474  tamara.mcnamara@nhs.net
  • UCLH: Megan Green  07984 288 589/020 3447 8238 megan.green5@nhs.net
  • Whittington Health: Ruth Wetherall 020 7288 5358 / 07876 145 298 ruth.wetherall@nhs.net
  • Print off/encourage the patient to read the relevant easy-read leaflets below:

Going to hospital (PDF)

Going to A&E (PDF)

How to get the help you need in hospital (PDF)

Having an X-ray (PDF)

Having a scan (PDF)

Having a general anaesthetic (PDF)

Reporting the death of a person with a learning disability

The Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) is a national review of deaths of people with learning disabilities. Please use this website to report a death of patient with learning disability who was aged more than four years old.

Area specific guidance for Camden

Here is a selection of useful information for GPs and carers of those with learning disabilities:

How to prepare your patient for a hospital visit:

  • Ask their carer to fill in a Hospital Passport to take with the patient
  • Encourage the patient to watch the UCLH or RFH video prior to their visit

Area specific guidance for Barnet

Covid-19 vaccination resources for people with LDs (Barnet)

What is a Learning Disability?

According to Valuing People: a new strategy for learning disability for the 21st century, the government White Paper for England about health and social care support for people with a learning disability (2001), an individual who has a Learning Disability has the presence of:

  • a significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information or to learn new skills
  • a reduced ability to cope independently
  • an impairment that started before adulthood, with a lasting effect on development

This means that the person will find it harder to understand, learn and remember new things, and means that the person may have problems with a range of things such as communication, being aware of risks or managing everyday tasks.

What is a Learning Difficulty?

A Learning Difficulty is not a Learning Disability.  This includes:

  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Special Educational Needs
  • Difficulties arising from brain injury occurred later in life
  • ADHD
  • Dementia

Legislative reports index

Say No to Abuse

Easy Read Health information

My Health Matters

In Barnet, a new Health Action Plan called “My Health Matters” has been developed. My Health Matters folders are given out to everyone with a Learning Disability in Barnet.Service Users, Carers and Families can contact the Service via the Duty desk to arrange training on: 0208 359 6161.

Annual Health Checks

Royal College of GPs Mental Capacity Act

Pre Annual-Health Check Questionnaire

The Pre-AHC questionnaire is designed to be sent out to Service Users, providers and carers prior to the AHC taking place.  This is a great tool to use to gather information to help inform the AHC itself and should therefore be sent back to the practice in good time. 

Hospital Passports

A person with a Learning Disability should have a Hospital Passport. This contains basic information about them to help them and the hospital staff if admission to hospital is needed or when attending an appointment.

Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) Programme

Hospital Communication Pack

Hospital Acute Liaison Nurses for learning disability patients


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Dr Nirojini KuganenderanEmail


Learning Disabilities & Autism (CVD-19) Clinical Lead (Barnet)


Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS-v1.1) Symptom Checklist

Download PDF, 62.09 KB

Annual Health Check Letters And Goals – Easy Read

Download ZIP, 4.84 MB

Communication Support Form - Easy Read Checklist

Download PDF, 286.73 KB

Consent to Share Communication on Needs – Easy Read

Download PDF, 152.06 KB

Contact information: who can help in an emergency?

Download DOCX, 942.73 KB

Covid-19: 6 easy read posters/flyers

Download ZIP, 7.44 MB

Covid-19: Beating The Virus (A Book Beyond Words)

Download PDF, 3.46 MB

Covid-19: easy read advice

Download PDF, 1.81 MB

Covid-19: easy read top tips for staying at home

Download PDF, 5.16 MB

Covid-19: ILDP adapted support pack

Download DOCX, 5.03 MB

Covid-19: tops tips for carers on activities to do at home

Download DOCX, 34.79 KB

Dysphagia screening tool for people with a learning disability

Download DOCX, 39.27 KB

GP Appointment Cards - Easy Read

Download DOC, 643.5 KB

LD Health Check Scheme – Information

Download PDF, 230.61 KB

Learning Disability Codes

Download DOCX, 256.25 KB

Learning Disability Health Check Guidance

Download PDF, 727.42 KB

NHS 111: Easy read information

Download PDF, 954.03 KB

PHE Easy Read Adult Flu Leaflet

Download PDF, 132.41 KB

Pre-health Check Questionnaire

Download DOCX, 1.19 MB

Registration Form - Easy Read

Download PDF, 1.85 MB

Registration Forms - Large Print

Download ZIP, 163.52 KB

Sepsis patient leaflet: easy-read version

Download PDF, 241.32 KB

Sepsis patient leaflet: plain English version

Download PDF, 191.15 KB

STOMP resources

Download DOCX, 286.81 KB

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Last updated: Oct 27th, 2021
Review date: Aug 10th, 2021