Reported by The National – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.


MEDICS are to receive specialist help on aiding cancer patients with learning disabilities as charities aim to close a gap in life expectancy.

Macmillan Cancer Support and ENABLE Scotland have created a new programme aimed at boosting provision for patients with additional support needs.

Directed towards medics, it is hoped that the resource will improve outcomes for vulnerable patients.

Women with learning disabilities die 20 years earlier than the general population on average.

Life expectancy for men with such conditions is 13 years lower than those without.

According to the most recent Health Needs Assessment Report by NHS Scotland, people with learning disabilities experience difficulty in accessing health services.

Health conditions can remain undetected and untreated as a result and the mortality rates associated with treatable conditions, such as some cancers, are higher than average.

Theresa Shearer, chief executive of ENABLE Scotland, said: “Receiving a diagnosis can be extremely difficult and daunting for anyone, but for someone with a learning disability it can be even more distressing than for others.

“They may be informed of their diagnosis or consequent test results at a health appointment but may only fully understand what’s shared with them later on, when they’re in a different location, sometimes on their own and without the appropriate support.

“The launch of this resource marks an important milestone in ensuring access to equal healthcare for all.”



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