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The first 7 GP practices in Coventry and Warwickshire have been awarded the new Learning Disability Friendly Badge, which recognises practices that are welcoming places for people with a learning disability and who provide the best possible personalised care.

The new accreditation has been introduced by NHS Coventry and Warwickshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) in order to act as a quality standard for GP practices across Coventry and Warwickshire. Not only does it recognise a practice’s commitment to providing an excellent standard of care for people with a learning disability, but it is also dependent on them delivering high-quality Learning Disability Annual Health Checks that are vital in the early identification of health issues.

The idea for the badge was first developed following a concerted local effort to increase the number of annual health checks that were being delivered. Previously, there had been a low level of these checks performed in Coventry and Warwickshire which was impacting the health system’s ability to improve health outcomes for people with a learning disability. 

On average, people with a learning disability have poorer physical and mental health than other people, which makes the opportunity to identify health issues early and discuss any health and wellbeing related questions so important. 

The decision to award the badge to the GP practices was made after their applications were assessed by a panel, made up of a Grapevine expert by experience and project workers, members of the ICB’s Primary Care Quality Team and Clinical Transformation Team, the senior reviewer from the LeDeR programme, a local GP and a member of the Community Learning Disability Team.

In their applications, practices were asked to demonstrate the met the following criteria:

1. The GP practice has an identified Learning Disability Champion
2. People with a learning disability receive personalised care
3. People with a learning disability receive high quality Learning Disability Annual Health Checks that improve their health outcomes
4. The GP practice makes reasonable adjustments to enable easier access and improve patients’ experience of their care

The badge itself was named and the logo created along with experts by experience from Grapevine, so those with a learning disability were at the heart of the project.

These 7 practices were in the first wave to apply, and applications are currently open to be considered by the next panel in July.

More information on the badge, the criteria and how a practice can apply is available on the Learning Disability Friendly Badge website page

The 7 GP practices who were awarded the Learning Disability Friendly Badge are:

  • Henley Green Medical Centre, Coventry
  • Moseley Avenue Surgery, Coventry
  • Riversley Road Surgery, Nuneaton
  • The Atherstone Surgery, Atherstone
  • The Grange Medical Centre, Nuneaton
  • Vale of Red Horse Healthcare Centre, Kineton and Tysoe
  • Windmill Surgery, Coventry

Dr Mike Caley, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at NHS Coventry and Warwickshire ICB, said:

“We are delighted to be able to award the first GP Practices in Coventry and Warwickshire with a Learning Disability Friendly Badge in recognition of their work to support patients with a learning disability.

“We believe this is a crucial step towards making all our services as welcoming as possible for people with a learning disability, whilst also recognising the fantastic work that has been done by practices in ensuring they deliver the best possible care.

“The range of applications we received were excellent and demonstrated a real commitment to improving the lives of their patients. We are now accepting applications for the next Learning Disability Friendly Badge panel which will take place in July, and I would encourage all local GP practices to apply.”

Dr Ayesha Mahmud, GP at Moseley Avenue Surgery, said:

“We are incredibly honoured and proud to be among the first GP practices in Coventry and Warwickshire to receive the Learning Disability Friendly Badge. This award highlights the commitment and hard work of our team to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all our patients. 

“We intend to build upon this success by continuing to provide training for staff and we will look to make improvements wherever possible in order to provide the highest quality of care for patients with learning disabilities.”

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