Health Alerts & Wellbeing

Helpful tool for assessing the eyesight of people with a learning disability

Many people with learning disabilities may not be able to tell others if they have concerns about their vision. Pair of spectacles

Seeability has developed a useful resource to help carers and anyone who supports someone with a learning disability observe how effectively they're able to see.

The Functional Vision Assessment (FVA) is easy to use and is suitable for use by carers, supporters and learning disability professionals. 

The FVA helps you gather useful information about how much the person is able to see and how they use their sight - which can then be shared at eye tests and hospital eye clinic appointments.

Download a pdf of the Functional Vision Assessment.


It's time to talk about poo

It’s estimated that half of people with a learning disability experience long-term constipation.

Causes include poor diet, dehydration, stress, lack of exercise, some medications, lack of monitoring bowel health and some physical conditions.

Many of these are commonly experienced by people with learning disabilities and, if left uncured, can cause discomfort, pain and sometimes death.

Constipation can be dangerous if not managed effectively but everyone is comfortable talking about their bowel movements.

Watch Poo & You - an animated guide to constipation by Dimensions.


Cervical Screening Saves Lives


Smear tests aren’t easy for everybody, but there are ways to make them better. They prevent 75% of cervical cancers, so while they may not be pleasant, they are important. 

Download an easy-read guide from the Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, which explains what happens during a smear test. 


Take your doctor's advice on antibiotics


The flu jab saves lives – please make sure you have one

People with learning disabilities and those who care for them are entitled to a free flu vaccination. Don't forget your flu shot

Paid carers who are employed by a registered care provider are also eligible for a free flu vaccination.

Flu occurs every year and is an unpredictable virus. It’s a highly infectious disease with symptoms that come on very quickly. Colds are much less serious. A bad bout of flu can be much worse than a heavy cold.

It can cause severe illness and even death among vulnerable groups. People with learning disabilities are more likely to become seriously ill if they get the flu.

The best way to avoid catching and spreading flu is by having the vaccination before the flu season starts.

By having the vaccination, paid and unpaid carers will reduce their chances of getting flu and spreading it to people who they care for.

You need to have a flu jab each year.

To get your free flu jab, speak to your GP or practice nurse, or alternatively your local pharmacist, to book a vaccination appointment and get the best possible protection.

Find out more about the flu injection in this easy read guide.

All about flu and how to stop getting it - easy read leaflet. 


Call 111

How to spot sepsis

Sepsis (also known as blood poisoning) is the immune system’s overreaction to an infection or injury. Normally our immune system fights infection – but sometimes, for reasons we don’t yet understand, it attacks our body’s own organs and tissues.

If not treated immediately, sepsis can result in organ failure and death. Yet with early diagnosis, it can be treated with antibiotics.

Sepsis can initially look like flu, gastroenteritis or a chest infection. There is no one sign, and symptoms present differently between adults and children.

How to spot sepsis in adults

Seek medical help urgently if you (or another adult) develop any of these signs:

  • Slurred speech or confusion
  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain 
  • Passing no urine (in a day)
  • Severe breathlessness
  • It feels like you’re going to die
  • Skin mottled or discoloured.

How to spot sepsis in children

If your child is unwell with either a fever or very low temperature (or has had a fever in the last 24 hours), call 999 and just ask: could it be sepsis?

A child may have sepsis if he or she:

  1. Is breathing very fast
  2. Has a ‘fit’ or convulsion
  3. Looks mottled, bluish, or pale
  4. Has a rash that does not fade when you press it
  5. Is very lethargic or difficult to wake
  6. Feels abnormally cold to touch.

A child under 5 may have sepsis if he or she:

  1. Is not feeding
  2. Is vomiting repeatedly
  3. Has not passed urine for 12 hours.

For further information, please visit the Sepsis Trust and the NHS Website



Be clear on cancer - Easy Read Leaflet

If you notice blood in your pee, even if it's 'just the once', tell your doctor.  It might not be  Be Clear on Canceranything serious, but there is a chance that it could be a sign of bladder or kidney cancer. 

Finding cancer early makes it more treatable. 

You can download an easy read leaflet, which tells you about bladder or kidney cancer.

You can also find further information at

Blood in your pee? Your doctor will want to know



Queen Victoria Chiropody Clinic

Feet are critical to everyday life and problems with them can cause misery and mobility difficulties. You might not be able to reach your feet to cut your toe nails or may have a more complicated foot issue that needs treating by a professional.

The Queen Victoria Chiropody Clinic is a charity which provides foot care services to anyone living in Reading or Earley, who is aged over 60 or unable to manage their foot care because of a disability or medical condition.

Treatments include: Aching feet

  • Corn and callous treatment
  • General and diabetic foot care
  • Nail trimming/hard skin removal 
  • Ingrown nail treatments
  • Treatment for fungal infections of the nail and skin
  • General foot health advice.


Charges made for treatments represent about half the true cost with the balance provided by the charity.

The clinic is based at 17 St John’s Road, Reading RG1 4EB.

Call 0118 959 0306


Act FAST at the signs of a stroke. Easy Read leaflet

Do you know the signs of stroke? You only need to see ONE sign – Face, Arms or Speech, to act fast and call 999.

Stroke is a medical emergency and the FAST test helps you identify stroke symptoms:

Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?

Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there? 

Speech – is their speech slurred?

Time to call 999 if you see any one of these signs.

Other stroke symptoms people should be aware of include:

  • Sudden loss of vision or blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • Sudden memory loss or confusion
  • Sudden dizziness, unsteadiness or a sudden fall, especially with any of the other symptoms

Take any of the above symptoms seriously and call 999 with delay if you notice any one in yourself or others, even if you are unsure.

Make the call. Dial 999 even if you are not sure it is a stroke.

Download an Easy Read version of Act F.A.S.T.