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Health support and advice for young people with a disability

Health support and advice for young people with a disability

What the Annual Health Check is and what happens if your child moves to adult health services, what support and sources of information are available to you and your child.

Many local health services are for people of all ages and different conditions. Your child might not need to move between services.

However, it's possible that your child will be moving to adult health services if they get specialist services related to their disability.

Annual health check for children with SEND

From the age of 14 your GP will invite your child to a free annual health check if they’ve been assessed as having either: 

  • moderate, severe or profound learning disabilities
  • or a mild learning disability with complex health needs

Your child doesn’t have to have the health check, but it can help find problems that could go undetected if they don't. If your child hasn't been invited for one, and you think they should have, speak to your doctor.  

You can learn more about Annual Health Checks on the NHS Choices website.

The Annual Health Check is also an opportunity to review any changes that will take place in the health care your child get when your turn 18 years old.

When and how to plan the transition to adult health services

If your child has health services that are specifically for children, they’ll normally transfer to adult services at 18 years old. 

Planning for your child transferring to these services usually starts when your child is around 14 years old, or in Year 9 at school.

Transition from child health services to adult health services means the professionals and services that support your child will change when they turn 18. 

Your child will have lots of written information about their health needs and teams will use this information to prepare your child’s move to adult health services.

Moving to adult health services also means that:

  • your child can make their own appointments
  • you or your child may have to pay for prescriptions
  • your GP can ask questions directly to your child without you around

Preparing for adulthood has details on the support your child can get to manage their own health, including information on:

  • moving from child to adult mental health services
  • young people's rights when using the NHS
  • how the healthcare system works

Move to Adult Mental Health services

If your child receives support from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), this will end when they reach 18 years old. Your CAMHS worker will look at transferring care to Adult Mental Health services if they think your child needs ongoing support. 

The age at which the process of moving to adult services starts can differ but your child should be told at least six months in advance. The Young Minds website has guidance on how people move from CAMHS to adult services.

Specialist health services from age 18

The Community Learning Disabilities Team (CLDT) provides specialist health services directly to people with learning disabilities from age 18 and can start helping during the transition period when your child reaches 17. They must be registered with a Bristol GP to access these services. 

There are three CLDT teams in Bristol you can contact depending on where you live.

Relationships and sexual health

You can find information about puberty, sex and relationships for people with a learning disability:

  • Unity Sexual Health website has a section providing advice about topics such as relationships, contraception and finding a doctor or nurse in Bristol to talk about sexual health
  • the South West Relationships and Sexuality Group page from Kids.org.uk covers subjects such as friendships, sex and relationships for disabled people aged 13 to 25
  • the Family Planning Association has a training programme to support adults and young people with learning disabilities to understand sexual health issues

Safeguarding

Disabled people can be vulnerable and find it harder to protect themselves, get help or remove themselves from an abusive situation.  

Anyone can raise a concern and report suspected abuse.

Healthy living

There are free services in Bristol  to help you stay healthy and information on health and wellbeing is available on NHS Choices.

Substance misuse

The Bristol Youth Links team can provide support if your child has problems with drugs or alcohol or help young disabled people whose parents or carers have a problem with substance abuse. Their services are available until the young person is 25 years old. 

You can also contact the Young People’s Substance Misuse Treatment Service if your child has complex mental health needs until they are 18 years old. 

My Health Guide

My Health Guide is a mobile app for adults with learning disabilities. It allows them to share information such as health, diet and feelings directly with carers and medical staff. 

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