An investigation into the implementation of annual health checks for people with intellectual disabilities

J Intellect Disabil. 2011 Sep;15(3):157-66. doi: 10.1177/1744629511423722.


This project, conducted during 2010 by a researcher working with a self-advocacy group, investigated the implementation of Annual Health Checks (AHCs) for people with intellectual disabilities in Oxfordshire, where only 26.1 percent of AHCs were completed in 2009-10 (national average 41 percent). AHCs were introduced in England in 2008 as a response to findings that people with intellectual disabilities have significantly worse health care than other groups. GP practices are financially incentivized to offer AHCs. This study found that slow progress in implementing AHCs was attributable to: uncertainty over who was eligible; limited awareness in general practices about the legal duty to make 'reasonable adjustments' to facilitate access; limited awareness of AHCs and their potential benefits amongst carers and adults with intellectual disabilities; and in some cases scepticism that AHCs were either necessary or beneficial. The article also explores the benefits of undertaking this project in partnership with a self-advocacy group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • England / epidemiology
  • General Practitioners / standards*
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / epidemiology*
  • Intellectual Disability / therapy*
  • Persons with Mental Disabilities / psychology
  • Physical Examination / standards*
  • Primary Health Care / economics
  • Primary Health Care / standards*