Better Care for Patients with Learning Disabilities

August 2016

Mental Health

Country of origin: UK

The General Medical Council (GMC) has launched a new website to guide doctors treating patients who have a learning disability. The new website aims to increase doctors’ understanding of care of patients with learning disabilities and help them improve their skills in supporting them.

The 2008 independent inquiry headed by Sir Jonathan Michael for the Department of Health found strong evidence that people with a learning disability received poorer care and urged improvements in health services. A GMC-commissioned survey found that over half of doctors – including nearly two-thirds of GPs – think patients with learning disabilities generally receive a poorer standard of healthcare. One in three doctors has seen a patient with a learning disability receiving poorer quality care or facing discrimination.

The site is a practical tool that can be used as a refresher before a consultation, but has the capacity to be used for all levels of learning, including in classroom teaching.

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