Research report; #MyGPandMe: Making Primary Care, Fair

We surveyed people with learning disabilities or autism, their support teams and GPs. The results showed poor quality of primary health care due to a lack of GP training. There is overwhelming demand from GPs for more training.

GP training

Currently, student GPs receive no mandated face-to-face training around caring for people with learning disabilities, and little training around implementing reasonable adjustments to make a service accessible.

Our report found

  • two thirds of GPs told us they have received less than a day’s training on how to meet the needs of patients with learning disabilities or autism
  • 60% of GPs say additional training is necessary
  • 44% of GPs would like additional training to ensure patients are getting the most out of their annual health checks
  • 98% of GPs say they would benefit from a short training session, led by people with learning disabilities or autism, on how to meet the individual needs of patients.

Going to the GP if you have a learning disability or autism

We found that many people experience difficulties accessing timely and effective care.

Our report found

  • People with learning disabilities or autism are 30% less likely to feel listened to by the GP
  • Almost a third of people feel less likely to be treated with care and concern
  • 60% of people said their GP did not make reasonable adjustments for them
  • 59% of GPs identified communication issues between patients, support workers and GPs as an obstacle
  • Just half of people felt they were involved in decisions about their healthcare.

Making reasonable adjustments

The Equality Act 2010 created a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments so an environment is accessible. But, there is still a lack of understanding over what this means and what can be done.

Our report found

  • A quarter of GPs say they don’t have enough time in their appointments to make reasonable adjustments
  • 48% of GPs identified a lack of clarity on when to use reasonable adjustments
  • 44% said they didn’t know which reasonable adjustments to make
  • Half of GPs have identified a lack of training on making reasonable adjustments
  • Three quarters of GPs would like additional training on reasonable adjustments.

Read and share our report

We encourage you to read and share the full report. The more people in the health and social care sectors understand how important it is, the more steps they can take to become learning disability and autism friendly.