Planning for good health
As you get older it is important to keep fit, active and to look after your health and wellbeing.
Planning for good health will help you to move to adult health services and with the best ways to keep healthy both physically and mentally. In Leicester there are a number of groups of people who support you with your healthcare needs. This help can come from one of the Trusts: Leicestershire Partnership Trust, who provide integrated mental health, learning disability and community health services; University Hospitals Leicester can support you at one of the three big hospitals in the City: Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester General and Glenfield Hospital.
There are other healthcare agencies who support your health and wellbeing. This includes the help available through your GP surgery, health centres, urgent care settings, dentists and opticians.
In health services we talk about universal and targeted services. Universal services are those such as health visiting and school nursing that are available to everybody and everyone can access. It also very important to see what help is available within the local community that may best meet your needs. This support may not be a traditional health service but will still provide the support you need for your health and wellbeing.
There are services that support and treat people with certain conditions and normally you will have to be referred to the services by a professional or agency, e.g. GP, school, etc. These are called ‘targeted’ services. Children and young people with a disability, medical condition and/or a special educational need will probably be supported by one or more of these services throughout their life.
Details of both universal and targeted services available in the community for children and adults and can be accessed through the Leicestershire Partnership Trusts website.
Young people will move into adult health services between the ages of 16 and 19 years, depending on which child health service is supporting you. When you are an adult you will not have access to a paediatrician and your General Practitioner (GP Doctor) will have a larger role in supporting you with your healthcare. Many referrals into adult health services are through your GP so that they can help you access the best service to meet your needs.
Some young people will have been supported by healthcare professionals within children health services, at home, in the hospital, at clinics and at school. These services may not be available in adult health services as most services are very different, they may have to go to another hospital or to be seen in a different clinic. It can be very confusing and worrying knowing who will support your ongoing healthcare needs in adult services but there is help to navigate your way around.
In Leicester City there is a dedicated health Transitions team who are available to give advice during the process of moving from children’s to adult services. The team can support young people who are registered with a city GP. They can support the young person from school year 9 up to their 25th birthday if necessary.
The Transitions team for Health can
- Help you to be involved in planning your move to adult health services
- Help to make sure your move to adult services goes as well as possible
- Help you put together your Health Action Plan
- Start supporting you in school year 9 when you are aged 13 or 14
- Check the Health Action Plan every year and keep it up to date
- Come to Person Centred Reviews and school and college and help with health concerns
- Help you understand who can support you in adult services
- Support the Continuing Health Care process
The team are also supporting the staff in Leicestershire Partnership Trust who support you in both children’s and adult services and can help you understand how you can achieve your aspirations and prepare for adulthood.
The team are working very hard to find out what young people in Leicester need to keep good health and wellbeing and to understand what is working well and what could be better. The team would be happy to hear about and learn from your experience of the move to adult services.
If you have any questions about health care in Adult services, the Transitions team will be happy to help.
NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC)
A small number of children and young people each year may be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare. This support is provided for children and young people under 18 who need a tailored package of care because of their disability, an accident or illness.
It is different from NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) which can be provided to adults who have very severe or complex health needs. The main difference is that while continuing healthcare for adults focuses mainly on health and care needs, continuing care for a child or young person should also consider their physical, emotional and intellectual development as they move towards adulthood.
NHS continuing healthcare is free care outside of hospital that is arranged and funded by the NHS, it can be wholly or partly funded with Adult Social Care. It is only available for people who are 18 years old and who need on-going healthcare and meet the eligibility criteria described below.
To be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, the person you look after must be assessed as having a "primary health need" and have a complex medical condition and substantial and on-going care needs. A checklist can be completed when a young person is 17 to see if they are eligible for CHC funding and if a Decision Support Tool is necessary which is the next step in the process.
Not everyone with a disability or long-term condition will be eligible. A decision about eligibility should usually be made within 28 days of an assessment being carried out.
Annual health check
If you have a learning disability, your GP will ask to see you once a year. They should ask to see you from the age of 14, even if you are not feeling unwell, to ask you about your health and wellbeing.
They will ask if you smoke, drink, exercise, what you eat and if you take any medication.
You will talk about health issues like illnesses or operations and any concerns or worries that you may have.
NHS choices is a good place to find all sorts of information about annual health checks, health and wellbeing
Easy Health is a good website that provides information collected from all over the country to support people with a disability to understand the health service: www.easyhealth.org.uk/categories/useful-things-for-your-health-care