Greater awareness of the health issues experienced by disabled people and the use of reasonable adjustments are vital if individuals are to have better health outcomes. These are among the good practice steps for health and care staff outlined by Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG).
The VODG discussion paper, Tackling Health Inequalities, sets out what social care providers believe can help or hinder the health treatment of people supported.
The issue of health inequalities is a VODG priority. The publication follows a recent event on the issue as well as the re-launch of the learning disability health charter, which now includes dealing with over-medication.
Tackling Health Inequalities lists care providers’ most common successes in ensuring good health for the people they support, including:
- improved monitoring of health and setting or achieving health goals, including collecting good health data and monitoring of health conditions
- training for staff or people supported on health issues, including increasing staff confidence to raise important issues with health professionals
- initiatives to promote healthy lifestyles, like diet, exercise and smoking.
Meanwhile, common challenges in relation to ensuring good health include:
- staff and the people they support having a low awareness about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet and exercise
- poor access to mainstream NHS community services.