The need for FASTER CARE in the diagnosis of illness in people with intellectual disabilities

Pauline Heslop, Matthew A Hoghton, Pete S Blair, Peter J Fleming, Anna M Marriott, Lesley S Russ

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

17 Citations (Scopus)


The Confidential Inquiry into premature deaths of people with learning disabilities reported the median age at death for the 247 people with intellectual disabilities (ID) in the study to be on average 16 years sooner than in the general population of England and Wales. Almost one-quarter (22%) were under the age of 50 years when they died, compared with just 9% in the general population. A comparator group of people without ID, who died at a similar age and from similar causes, experienced significantly fewer problems in all aspects of care provision, coordination, and documentation.
One of the contributory factors highlighted in the report was the delay in the care pathways of people with ID who had died, in particular delayed diagnosis. Of the 171 people with ID who had been identified as being unwell, by themselves or their carers, and who had responded promptly in reporting this to a doctor, almost one-quarter (23%) had one or more problems with their illness being diagnosed.
This article describes what positive practice would look like in diagnosing illness in people with ID and how can we overcome some of the problems of diagnosing illness in people with ID.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-662
Number of pages2
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Issue number617
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

Structured keywords

  • PolicyBristolHealthAndWellbeing


  • diagnosis
  • Intellectual Disability
  • treatment


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