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Supporting health and social care providers in Devon

Learning disability and autism


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New landmark strategy to improve the lives of autistic people

The government has launched a new multi-million pound strategy to speed up diagnosis and improve support and care for autistic people.

COVID-19 and flu vaccination resources

When contacted for their vaccination, people with learning disabilities should let their GP or community learning disability nurse know if they need extra support or reasonable adjustments to make them feel more confident about having the vaccine.

  • NHS England and NHS Improvement have developed a short film for people with learning disabilities and/or autistic people about vaccination. It describes what a vaccine is, how vaccines are made, why you should get a vaccine, whether a vaccine can make you ill and how to decide whether to have a vaccine or not.
  • Misfits Theatre Company have produced this upbeat film tackling misinformation surrounding the flu vaccination head on and urging people with learning disabilities and their carers to get their free flu vaccine as soon as possible.

Learning Disability and autism, dementia and mental health guidance

Learning Disability and autism, dementia and mental health guidance has been developed by the national Council for Disabled Children.

The Social Care Institute for Excellence produced a series of guides for families and professionals supporting autistic adults and adults with learning disabilities during the coronavirus crisis.

Guidance for care staff who are supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults

This supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adult guidance is for care workers and personal assistants who support adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults.

The guidance will help care staff to:

  • keep people with learning disabilities and autistic people safe
  • support them to understand the changes they need to make during the COVID-19 outbreak
  • protect their own wellbeing

Guidance for people who are providing unpaid care to adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults

This providing unpaid care to adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults guidance is for anyone who provides unpaid care, such as friends or family, to adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults.

The guidance will help people with caring responsibilities to:

  • keep people with learning disabilities and autistic people safe
  • support them to understand the changes they need to make during the COVID-19 outbreak
  • protect their own wellbeing

People with learning disabilities at greater COVID-19 risk

People with learning disabilities had higher death rate from COVID-19
England death rate up to 6 times higher from coronavirus during the first wave of the pandemic than the general population, Public Health England study finds.

COVID-19: deaths of people with learning disabilities
Review of available data on the deaths of people identified as having learning disabilities in England during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The University of Bristol report looking at the deaths of 200 people

Action from learning response to learning from deaths of people with a learning disability (LeDeR) review of COVID pandemic deaths

NHS England and Improvement will be working with system partners to carry out the actions outlined in the report and have published useful guidance and resources to help the system with those actions.

Accessible resources to help you communicate about COVID-19

Councils ready to support most clinically vulnerable

Devon County Council and the District Councils in Devon are ready to support residents who are identified as being ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’.

Information about the range of support available to people identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable is published on our website.

Down’s Syndrome added to vulnerable list

Adults with Down’s Syndrome have been added to the ‘at risk’ groups listed as having a high risk of developing complications from coronavirus infection. Here is a reminder of the updated national guidance, which is of particular importance to Supported Living providers at the moment.
An easy-read version of the national letter sent to all clinically extremely vulnerable people is available from the Down’s Syndrome Association.

Testing in a mental health or learning disability service

The NHS Test and Trace service has produced a Youtube film on how to do a coronavirus test in a mental health or learning disability service.

The Grab and Go guidance

The Grab and Go guide has been designed in partnership with people with learning disabilities, families and nurses. It gives the information that doctors and nurses will need if you go to hospital because of COVID-19 and, for example, are struggling to breathe.

COVID-19 Grab and Go guide

COVID-19 Grab and Go form

NHS Devon guidance on managing people with LD and Autism

NHS Devon has collated useful patient engagement and communication resources on managing people with learning disability, autism or both conditions including links to useful resources.

Free support to anyone with learning disability

AutonoME makes its independent living platform FREE to support people with Learning Disabilities through self-isolation.
In response to the Government’s request that people with learning disabilities self- isolate, technology start-up AutonoMe offers a FREE version of their platform to any person with a learning disability in the UK.
Hoping to alleviate some of the challenges faced by people with learning disabilities, AutonoMe will provide through their App’ support for free throughout the coronavirus pandemic across the UK.

Follow the link to sign up.

Do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR) decisions

Following on from the CQC report Protect, respect, connect – decisions about living and dying well during COVID-19, NHS England has issued new public facing Do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR) decisions guidance.


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