Refreshed Health Charter for social care providers

November 3, 2017

A refreshed Health Charter for social care providers to tackle health inequalities for people with learning disabilities has been published.

Public Health England and VODG (the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group) have launched the updated Health Charter for social care providers who support people with a learning disability. The Charter was developed with people with learning disabilities and their families to support providers to improve the overall health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities.

Viv Bennett, Chief Nurse at Public Health England, said, 'The Health Charter has been developed for adult social care providers and staff who have an important role in helping people access good healthcare and lead a healthy lifestyle. It is intended to raise awareness of the health inequalities that exist for people with a learning disability and act as a tool to enable staff to improve support given to enable people to embed healthy lifestyle. The Charter supports staff to increase access to and uptake of health checks and screening programmes.'

Dr Rhidian Hughes, Chief Executive at VODG said, 'People with learning disabilities live shorter lives and have worse health than the general population. Social care services have a key role in tackling these health inequalities by supporting people to get the best out of health services and live a healthy life. The updated Health Charter covers the main elements of support that contribute to maintaining good physical and mental health and now includes a commitment to addressing over-medication, in particular, the overuse of psychotropic medicines. This is an important step towards ensuring that people with learning disabilities are only taking the medication they really need and are not experiencing unnecessary side effects.'

Earlier this year, an innovative film was launched to support better health for people with learning disabilities. Social care providers can also sign up to the Health Charter.

This updated version of the Charter includes information on the STOMP campaign for social care providers to stop the over-medication of people with learning disabilities and/or autism.

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