The Decision Support Tool for Physical Health [DST-PH] has been developed to help identify people with a learning disability who are at increased risk of premature and preventable death. The aim is to assist clinicians identify underlying health needs and factors that contribute to poor health outcomes.

The DST-PH is a risk stratification tool that aims to reduce the need for acute hospital admissions with the intention of identifying and focusing interventions to improve health outcomes.

The risk stratification tool is designed to be user friendly and identify many areas of physical health risk based on evidence-based practice. The key aim of the tool is to direct clinical response to identified areas of physical health need within the community and reducing the need for Hospital admissions. 

The DST-PH is divided into two parts.

  • Part 1 contains eight areas that could impact physical health outcomes for an individual, such as, a person’s degree of learning disability, if a person is displaying significant behavioural problems or has an unstable or untreated mental health condition.
  • Part 2 contains eleven items that help identify underlying health conditions, for example, the presence of epilepsy, a neurological condition or respiratory difficulties / condition.

Clinicians are to fully complete each part of the DST-PH with each part giving a total score that would rate the risks for that part as red, amber or green (RAG).  The overall RAG rating for both parts is then used for the risk stratification table to identify overall risk for that individual.