NHS clinical guide for front line staff to support the management of patients with a learning disability and autistic people
Relevant for all clinical specialities, this guide is designed to help staff know how to provide good care for this patient population
This new guide from the NHS is relevant for all clinical specialities. It has been designed to support healthcare professionals to deliver good quality care for people with a learning disability and autistic people. The guide highlights that autistic people have higher rates of health problems throughout childhood, adolescence and adulthood including a higher rate of mental health diagnoses, therefore healthcare staff are likely to see autistic patients throughout daily clinical practice and it is important that that staff know how to provide good care for this patient population.
Key guidance points from the guide include;
- Being aware of diagnostic overshadowing, which is where symptoms arising from physical or mental ill health issues are misattributed to the patient’s learning disability or autism, which can cause a delayed diagnosis or treatment.
- Paying attention to healthcare passports, which some people with a learning disability or autism carry, giving information about the person and their health needs, preferred method of communication and other preferences.
For more information, please see the NHS England website.