Constipation Toolkit for people with Learning Disabilities

Constipation can be a life–threatening issue for people with a learning disability who are at heightened risk from complications if it is left untreated.

The following communications toolkit provides resources that can be used to help raise awareness of constipation and is specially designed for primary care, for carers and aimed at raising awareness to those with a learning disability.

The toolkit includes:

  • An animation
  • A leaflet – web/ printable / and easy read web version
  • Poster for people with a learning disability – Web / printable / poster aimed at people with a learning disability
  • Bristol stool chart - Accessible version / print ready version / digital pdf version
  • Social media toolkit and text for editorials etc.

If you require any further information, please contact the NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Comms team at who will be happy to help.

Article for websites/newsletters

Ensure people with a learning disability get treated for constipation.

Constipation can cause fatal complications if it’s not treated – and people with a learning disability are much more likely to be at risk.

You have a vital role to play by ensuring that patients with a learning disability who present with constipation receive support from the general practice team. This can help avoid preventable deaths.

Please note that some people with a learning disability or their carers may not have identified that they are experiencing constipation before presenting. Instead, they may present with symptoms such as stomach pain or report changes in behaviour such as agitation or eating less. It’s important to consider that these may be signs of constipation and act accordingly.

For more information and resources to support conversations with people with a learning disability please direct people to

Social media posts

A choice of images that can be used on social media are at the end of this toolkit and can be accessed from the list of assets on the right hand side of this page.

Social media toolkit can be downloaded here