Published on: 19th May 2023

Stockport learning disability nurse Laura Aldalou (pictured) and GP care co-ordinators have been supporting people who experience severe anxiety about attending health appointments.

Laura Aldalou.jpgThanks to their great work, the annual health check uptake has hit 92.4% - the highest in Greater Manchester and well above the national target of 75%.

An annual health check is offered to everyone 14 years and above with a learning disability, some who may also have autism. It involves a comprehensive MOT of the person’s physical and mental health, so any issues can be identified and treated early. This helps ensure they stay healthy and can enjoy a life they find fulfilling.

Anxiety is a common factor in people not attending appointments. To overcome this, Laura and her colleagues developed a check list of reasonable adjustments that can be made to meet the person’s needs.

This includes longer appointment slots, easy read information, seeing the person at home and reducing or avoiding waiting times. There’s also a space for the person to specify anything not listed. And other colleagues from our learning disability services can come along to the appointment for extra support, if needed.

They’re asked to complete and send this back before their appointment, so their appointment can be tailored and be stress-free as possible.

Claire was supported by Laura to have a health check, and said:

“I’d been putting off going to see the doctor because I don’t like waiting in the waiting room as you can be waiting for ages and it’s really noisy and busy. I’ve got autism and I don’t like too much noise.

“You arranged for them to come and see me at the house which was much better. I don’t like to be stuck in waiting all day, I want to go out. The lady was really nice, the one that came to my house with you, and she didn’t try to rush me and let me tell my jokes.”