Patient record flag can positively affect care of people with learning disabilities
Notes for editors
- Around 2% of the UK population is thought to have a learning disability, so around 1.5 million people could benefit from reasonable adjustments.
- Under the Equality Act 2010, health and care organisations have a legal duty to make it as easy for people with a disability to use health services as it is for people who do not have a disability. This is called making reasonable adjustments. These could be things like: making sure there is wheelchair access in hospitals; providing easy read appointment letters; giving someone a priority appointment if they find it difficult waiting in their GP surgery or hospital; longer appointments if someone needs more time with a doctor or nurse to make sure they understand the information they are given.
- The flag has been developed in the NHS Spine and is currently accessible to pilot organisations through the Summary Care Record application (SCRa) and is clearly visible alongside other key information such as patient demographics, Summary Care Record, Child Protection Information Sharing (CP-IS) and Female Genital Mutilation Information Sharing (FGM-IS). Pilot organisations create the flag in conjunction with the patient and/or carer or in line with existing best interest decision processes.
- The flag complements and extends the existing recording of reasonable adjustments locally and enhances the effectiveness of initiatives such as the national Accessible Information Standard. Along with the details of adjustment to care, the flag can optionally contain details of the key disability or long term condition that is the source of the patient’s impairment(s).
- The solution has been developed to support the needs of all patients within the remit of the Equality Act, including those with a physical or sensory disability, a learning disability or long-term conditions such as dementia.
- A software interface is being developed to facilitate future integration with local clinical and screening systems.
- This capability helps support the NHS Long Term Plan requirement that “By 2023/24, a ‘digital flag’ in the patient record will ensure staff know a patient has a learning disability or autism.”
Last edited: 17 June 2020 2:46 pm