Learning disability - Health support & therapies

Learning difficulties health team

Referral form

Health support
People with learning disabilities may have particular health problems and some may need extra support to take advantage of important health services. It's obviously important that they have the ability to stay as healthy as possible and benefit from all available health services.

One of the challenges is making sure that someone with a learning disability understands their health, and any health problems which they might have, and that they know what to do to stay as health as possible.

Sutton's specialist health team for people with learning disabilities is made up of a variety of health professionals and is part of the Sutton's disability services. The team provides a service to people with a learning disability who are registered with a Sutton GP and are over 18 years of age.

The team works with an open referral system - this means that a person who has a learning disability can either refer themselves or be referred by anybody can refer themselves, or by a friend, relative or other professional, to the team. Open the referral form.

Specialist Nursing Service
The Specialist Nursing Service helps people with learning disabilities to live healthy lives and works with others to make sure people with learning disabilities in Sutton are as healthy as possible. Specialist nurses will help people with learning disabilities find the right health treatment and work with them and their carers to build the skills they need to live healthy lives.

The nurses will:
  • complete health assessments (including risk) and help with looking at people's health needs
  • help people with complex needs get the healthcare services they need
  • train and educate health staff to make sure people with learning disabilities have equal access to services
  • help carers understand the health needs of people with learning disabilities
To access this service complete the referral form.

Psychology Service
This service offers high quality, evidence based psychological services to people with learning disabilities, their carers and families in order to improve their psychological health and wellbeing.

It can carry out specialist assessments such as:
  • intellectual functioning - to identify strengths and weaknesses
  • attainments - reading and spelling
  • dementia - if you are starting to get more confused and forgetful
  • sexuality - to find out your level of knowledge and understanding
  • autism
  • challenging behaviour - to assess behaviours that others might find difficult to cope with
It can help with:
  • challenging needs and anger management
  • managing autism
  • anxiety, depression, phobias and other mental health problems
  • relationship/social skills
  • bereavement counselling
  • self esteem, assertiveness
  • problem solving, making choices, changes
The above interventions may be offered to the individual, a couple, in a group situation or through family/carers

To access this service complete the referral form.

Specialist Occupational Therapy
The Occupational Therapy Service aims to enable people with learning disabilities develop skills, support them to be as independent as possible, be an active part of their local community, and gain control of their life.

Occupational therapy needs and support can be very wide ranging. General referrals are directed to mainstream services, the specialist service for people with learning disabilities includes:
  • advice about seating and having a good posture
  • functional skills assessment - looking at how good you are at doing different things
  • advice about specialist equipment and environmental adaptations - equipment to help you live your life.
To access this service complete the referral form.

Speech and Language Therapy
The Speech and Language Therapy Service works to meet the communication needs of people with learning disabilities in Sutton. The service does this by following and promoting the key principles of Valuing People. People with learning disabilities are referred to the service.

The service includes the following:
  • providing individual specialist help with communication
  • providing training and support to carers, health workers and staff groups
  • co-ordinating specialist hearing assessment clinic for adults with learning disability
  • working with the Dysphasia Team for adults with learning disability for people experiencing difficulties when eating and drinking
  • promoting awareness of the importance of communication in all aspects of life.
To access this service complete the referral form.

Physiotherapy Service
The Physiotherapy Service provides specialist physiotherapy assessments and treatment for people with learning disabilities and complex healthcare needs. The service also assesses the need for hydrotherapy also at Sutton Inclusion Centre.

To access this service complete the referral form.

Creative Therapies
The creative therapy service involves music and drama therapy. It aims to promote good mental health and emotional well-being using drama, movement and music. Creative therapies look at a wide range of emotional and mental health needs for people with learning disabilities such as depression, anxiety, challenging behaviour, transition and change.

To access this service complete the referral form.

Easy Health has a range of easy-read leaflets and videos about different health issues which can help teach people with learning disabilities to learn more about their health.

View the videos