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Estimated prevalence of people with learning disabilities: template for general practice

By Victoria Allgar, Ghazala Mir, Joyce Evans, Joyce Marshall, David Cottrell, Phil Heywood and Eric Emerson

Abstract

Background\ud In 2001, a white paper set out a commitment to ensure\ud that people with a learning disability receive equal access\ud to health services, with an expectation that general\ud practices would have identified all people with a learning\ud disability registered with the practice by June 2004.\ud Aim\ud To outline the development of a template to create\ud practice-based registers of people with learning\ud disabilities in general practice.\ud Design of study\ud The study was prospective, employing a template to\ud identify patients in general practice with a learning\ud disability. The study used capture–recapture\ud methodology to estimate the prevalence of learning\ud disability in the population.\ud Setting\ud General practices in Leeds.\ud Method\ud A template was developed that uses Read code\ud searches of practices’ electronic medical records,\ud along with practice knowledge to identify patients who\ud have a learning disability.\ud Results\ud The tool was piloted in 30 general practices in Leeds\ud and validated against a city-wide database of people\ud with learning disability. There was a wide variation\ud between the practices in terms of how many people\ud were identified, with the average being 0.4% of the\ud practice population. Combined with validation from the\ud city-wide database, this increased to 0.7%.\ud Conclusion\ud The template provides a valuable tool for general\ud practices to begin developing a practice-based register\ud of patients with a learning disability. This is particularly\ud timely in view of the revised General Medical Services\ud contract Quality and Outcomes Framework indicator,\ud stimulating practices to produce a register of patients\ud with learning disability. Use of a common definition for\ud learning disability is needed to improve consistency in\ud identification across practices

Topics: RT, R1, HV
Publisher: Royal College of General Practitioners
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.hud.ac.uk:8205

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