Eligibility and referrals for health services

The Department of Health (Valuing People 2001) defines a learning disability as including the presence of:

  • Significantly impaired intellectual functioning and reduced ability to understand new or complex information, to learn new skills
  • Meeting the diagnostic criteria of ICD10/DSM4 with an intellectual functioning being markedly below average, with an IQ of 69 or less
  • Impaired social functioning which significantly reduces ability to cope independently, and that difficulty functioning presents in two or more of the areas listed below and which started before adulthood, with a lasting effect on development:
    • Communicating
    • Care for self
    • Living at home
    • Relating to others
    • Directing self
    • Using community resources
    • Academic functioning
    • Working in employment
    • Health and safety

There will be an open referrals system, where anybody can make a referral for individuals with learning disabilities to access specialist health services.  Complex referrals will be coordinated via the weekly multi-disciplinary meetings unless classed as very urgent.

Referrals will usually be considered for adults (over 18) with a Learning Disability who require specialist community learning disability health services.  Access to health services is not subject to Fair Access to Care Services (FACS) criteria.

Whilst the service will primarily support people of 18 years and over, the services will also be involved through transition procedures, in the assessment of eligibility of young people before the age of 18 but not earlier than 16 years of age and will provide effective liaison to ensure a smooth transition into adult services.

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