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HEE produces new guides to help people with learning disabilities and autism

5 August 2022

Health Education England has produced two new ‘easy read’ guides to help people with learning disabilities access the health care of their choice.

People with learning disabilities helped to produce and advise on the guides, which are designed to help people navigate healthcare information, ask the right questions to access the treatment they require and receive the answers in a form which is most helpful.

‘Get ready to talk about your health’ prepares people on what to do before they go for a consultation with any health or care provider.  It includes important information about their rights and what they can ask for, such as information in different formats, help to understand information provided or physical help to get to and from appointments. There is a specific section on preparing for an online appointment.

‘3 questions for better health’ suggests what to ask when people have a healthcare appointment. Adapted in consultation with experts from existing NICE guidance, the main emphasis is on making sure people understand they have a choice about their health and care.  The questions are:

•         What are my choices?

•         What is good and bad about my choices?

•         Can I get support to help me make my choices? 

Ruth Carlyle, HEE’s Head of Knowledge and Library Services, said: “It is so important we enable people with learning disabilities and autism to have better health conversations and participate in the choices and management of their own health. This piece of work is a start to that process.

“I am confident these leaflets will be welcomed by the health and care professions as well as patients. Although these leaflets are produced in easy read, the content and format will help anyone who struggles with health literacy.  It is also useful for those who might struggle to comprehend a health diagnosis.”

The HEE-funded guides will also help health professionals and others supporting people with learning disabilities and autism to understand their communication needs better.

The guides have been produced in a PDF format to download or print out.

More information is available here:- https://library.nhs.uk/easy-read-for-health/