A learning disability affects the way a person understands information and how they communicate. This means they can have difficulty:

  • understanding new or complex information
  • learning new skills
  • coping independently

People with a learning disability often have poorer physical and mental health than other people, so it is recommended that anyone with a learning disability over the age of 14 has an ‘annual health check’ with their GP practice each year. An annual health check helps you stay well by talking about your health and finding any problems early, so you get the right care.The Supercharged Me website takes people through the steps of getting their annual health check.

In Gloucestershire, services for people with learning disabilities are provided by Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust (GHC). This includes the community learning disability team, as well as more intensive support services, intensive health outreach ,and inpatient care.

GHC also host the Health Facilitation service, providing accessible health information and advice on accessing health services and staying healthy to people with learning disabilities, their carers and other health professionals.

For people going into hospital, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (GHT) has Learning Disabilities Liaison Nurses to assist and plan for an admission. It is always worth having a Health Passport (this version can be edited) to help staff support people when an admission is required.


The Autism Spectrum Condition service, provided by Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, offers assessment and diagnosis for those over the age of 18.


For information about children with Special Educational Needs (SEND), see the children and young people’s section here.

Local support organisations

A full list of local support organisations can be found at Your Circle.

  • Inclusion Gloucestershire is a user-led self-advocacy organisation for people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, autism or mental ill health. Self-advocacy means that people can learn to speak up for themselves and others.
  • Building Circles in Gloucestershire supports adults with learning disabilities, encouraging friendships and providing a social platform so that those who are isolated or lonely benefit as much as everyone else.
  • GEM (Going the Extra Mile) support people to overcome barriers to education, training, volunteering or work, including self-employment.

More information