Report finds wide health inequalities

People with mental health problems or learning difficulties or both were significantly more likely than the general population to experience serious physical illnesses, a report has found.

More than half faced difficulties when trying to use health services, according to the initial findings of a Disability Rights Commission inquiry into health inequalities. People with severe learning difficulties also had much lower rates of cervical screening and other routine tests than the rest of the population, according to the report.

The DRC’s analysis of 1.7 million primary care records found that people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder were more than twice as likely as other patients to have diabetes, and were also more likely to experience heart disease, stroke, hypertension and epilepsy.

The interim report, which marks the halfway point of the DRC’s 18-month inquiry, also found that some people with mental health problems or learning difficulties or both were struck off GPs’ lists for being “too demanding”.

The DRC will produce a full report by next summer when the investigation is complete.

  • More at www.drc.org.uk


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