5 Steps to Health

Hi everyone,

We’re pleased to let everyone know that print copies of Options’ NHS funded ‘5 Steps to Health’ guides are now available. We also have accessible, Easy Read copies of the guides available too.

The 5 Steps to Health booklet is a guide to supporting good health for people with learning disabilities. The booklet contains a lot of useful information on:

  • Learning Disability Annual Health Checks and health action plans
  • Reasonable adjustments
  • Hospital passports
  • Sepsis and Pneumonia
  • The Mental Capacity Act

The guides are for people with learning disabilities and their friends and families, as well as support workers. We believe that the information in the guides can make a real difference to the health of people with learning disabilities, and the health care they receive.

We’re making copies of our 5 Steps to Health guides available for free to organisations that support people with learning disabilities, as well as other health and social care organisations. You are welcome to forward this email to anyone who may find it useful.

To request copies of the booklets, please email 5stepstohealth@ofsl.org.uk and specify the qualities of guides and Easy Read guides you require.

Digital versions of the guides can also be viewed at:

https://www.optionsforsupportedliving.org//app/uploads/2021/05/5-Steps-to-Health.pdf

https://www.optionsforsupportedliving.org//app/uploads/2021/05/5-Steps-to-Health-Easy-Read-1.pdf

Best wishes, Christine

Whilst this 5 steps to health is valuable information I do feel that a well balanced diet is also a good step towards maintaining a good quality of health. My main concern regards some support staff who use the term ‘it was his/her choice to have pizza 5 nights a week’. Some people with learning disabilities I know will always choose pizza when asked ‘what do you want for tea?’ One gentleman has put on a lot of weight recently and has an ongoing health condition which is disregarded because he ‘chooses’ pizza every time. I was under the impression that care providers and support staff had a duty of care to encourage people to have a well balanced diet in order to maintain their health and well-being. I have no problem in people eating pizza or any other fast or high fat meals but surely it should be part of a well balanced diet. Am I being unreasonable?

Hello

Thank you for your comments, of course, eating well and being active are critical to reducing issues with poor health. The advice in the booklet supports healthy people to access health care when well or during a crisis.

Here at Options for Supported Living, we run health training for all our staff, covering movement, nutrition, and support accessing health care. I believe that moving and eating well also reduce unavoidable deaths of people with learning disabilities. The booklet is funded by NHS England and covered the recommendations made to social care providers from the first LeDeR in 2018. ‘5 Steps’ also compliments the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Learning Disability and Autism training for Health care staff.

I hope you find the booklet helpful.

Best wishes

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Thank you for your response, however, I do feel the information is somewhat vague and doesn’t really address the ‘choice’ issue other than to say people sometimes make unwise choices. Doesn’t that mean that staff who support people in a supported living environment can disregard a persons specific health needs and allow someone with diabetes to eat food high in sugar or people who are becoming morbidly obese because they continually eat a full packet of chocolate biscuits simply because it’s their choice? Where does duty of care fit in this situation?

Hello Pauls-mum,

Options have created a booklet that helps people with learning disabilities and paid and unpaid care access better health care. The booklet was signed off and authorised by NHS England (our funders) to contain the relevant and correct information to access health services. I agree that nutrition and exercise are essential to be and remain healthy, this booklet was not to cover those topics. We have received a lot of positive feedback from people working in health and social care.

A person-centred plan to keeping healthy is created with a person’s GP during their Learning Disability Annual Health Check, its called a Health Action Plan and shared with parents, carers and support workers. We cover this in our booklet, page 7 to 9. Apologies if we have not made that clear, and thank you for your feedback.

Best Wishes

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