We had a Health project for two years until 2018 focussing on Annual Health Checks and we found several reasons why people didn’t attend. Firstly there was the obvious one that many people just didn’t know about the AHCs and didn’t understand the letters when they came through or where scared, thinking that there was something wrong with them, so they binned the letters. Then there is the problem that no one has successfully linked care agencies to the need for support to attend AHCs, and support for helping people to get to them never appears on Care Plans. So many people have very few hours of support and are constantly getting their care packages cut but no one thinks that they might need coordinated support to attend their AHC. I ran a local health group and only succeeded in getting one care provider to attend and the CCG never came, so I gave up in the end because, if your CCG isn’t supporting the local voluntary sector to help raise awareness and get people to their AHCs, then you are hitting your head against a brick wall. Local Authority Commissioning also needs to get behind the checks and make sure people have what they need to attend and also help to do things like urine samples and attend follow-up appointments et. None of our local authorities are interested in supporting the work. Some of the surgeries were also just running the checks with healthcare assistants rather than a qualified nurse and with time from the GP. One lady had to have a 24 hour blood pressure monitor and would never have managed it, if it weren’t for our Family Adviser helping her to understand about it and how to keep it on because she was so nervous about it. Some surgeries didn’t know that they were supposed to do a health plan after the check, It was such a broad spread of poor understanding amongst GPs about what people with LD & Autism could manage and what they couldn’t. Also we have lots of elderly carers who didn’t know about the checks as well so it was another big job getting the word out to them too. Your CCG and La need to be on board for it to work properly. And don’
t get me started on screening.