GPs fail to treat people with learning difficulties


The co-chairperson of the learning disability taskforce
has attacked GPs’ treatment of people with learning difficulties,
writes Amy Taylor.

Speaking at Community Care Live, Michelle Chinery said that she
was so worried about GP’s attitudes towards people with learning
difficulties that she had written a letter to the Royal College of
General Practitioners listing her concerns.

Chinery explained that present problems include GPs speaking to
a carer of a person with learning difficulties rather than the
person themselves. They also refuse to treat people with learning
difficulties at their surgery, she said, instead saying they will
come out to their homes, for fear that they will upset people in
the waiting room.

Chinery said she had experienced problems persuading GPs to come
out to her home, with them often refusing and instead referring her
to the out of hours GP, who then says it is her own GP’s

She explained how on other occasions GPs call out ambulances as
an alternative to going out to patients, and that out-of-hours GP
services were also sometimes reluctant to make home visits. “I have
had experience of the out-of-hours GP service trying to give me
medication over the telephone, in an attempt to avoid coming out,”
she said.

Chinery called for guidance for GPs on how to work with people
with learning difficulties.

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