These guidelines have been developed to support clinical staff within Community Learning Disability Teams to complete the DST-PH. The aim is for the DST-PH to be completed for all clients who are referred and open to the Community Learning Disability Team.

It has been recognised through feedback that clinician’s knowledge and understanding of using this tool and the physical health needs of people with a learning disability is varied.

The tool is designed to identify areas of health need by using a RAG rating system which indicates increased level of risk to a person’s physical health.

It is important the guidance is followed as it is designed to support clinician’s in using the DST-PH tool and suggest interventions that maybe needed to address areas of physical health concern.

Staff members are to complete this tool based on a person’s current presentation and follow the guidance to support completion. Clinicians will need to regularly review a person’s DST-PH to help identify changes to a person’s needs and outcomes of any interventions identified.

There are some areas of the tool that could be rated more than once. This is classed as ‘Double scoring’ and is where a person is rated in two separate sections for the same physical health condition or concern.

A number of examples are detailed throughout the guidance to help direct people completing the tool to avoid double scoring. Where this is not reflected in the clinical guidance then clinicians are to ensure they only rate one particular condition in one area.    

It is important that all clinicians regularly review an individual’s Decision Support Tool for Physical Health.

The importance of regular review of the DST-PH is essential to ensure communication is being maintained with all relevant health and care professionals and a person’s identified physical health interventions are aligned with their current needs and plan of care. 

The RAG rating of the tool within the guidance will indicate different review periods dependent on a person’s level of need which is detailed in the ‘Action Section’. It is important to highlight, the tool should still be updated as and when there is a change to a person’s health needs.