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Learning Disability and Autism COVID Response

People with learning disabilities and/or autism face considerable health inequalities, and this has the potential to be exacerbated during the Coronavirus pandemic.

People with learning disabilities and/or autism face considerable health inequalities, and this has the potential to be exacerbated during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The CCG has a dedicated COVID-19 workstream which is focusing on the broad range of needs of these service users in the context of the pandemic.

To support those who work with adults with learning disabilities and/or autism, their families, and carers, the team have brought together the national guidance and sources of information available in the sections below.

If you have any questions please contact Madeline Coddington, Contract and Commissioning Manager for Learning Disability and Autism: madeleine.coddington@nhs.net

 Clinical guidance for frontline staff and guidance for care staff is available to support the management of patients with LD and/or Autism during the coronavirus  pandemic.  This is relevant to all clinical specialities.

Temporary changes to the Care Act have been set out, for use when it is not possible for Local Authorities to comply with their usual duties.

During the pandemic, the principles of the MCA and the safeguards provided by DoLS still apply. Where it may be necessary to change the usual care and treatment arrangements of somebody who lacks the relevant mental capacity to consent to such changes, guidance is available.

Workers are advised to follow national guidance in relation to use of PPE.

Guidance is available around the use of DNARs, and correct implementation is being assured throughout the Quality Directorate.

  • All Mental Health Act inpatients have a COVID health passport and or COVID response plan in place. Example plans are available for people with a learning disability and autism.
  • A Grab and Go Guide should also be completed for all patients, alongside hospital passports

Guidance on managing symptoms, including at the end of life, and end of life planning and bereavement care has been shared through Primary Care networks, CPFT and LAs.

Both STOMP (Stopping Over Medication of People with a learning disability, autism, or both) and STAMP (Supporting Treatment and Appropriate Medication in Paediatrics) are continuing as normal.

Care staff are working to national guidance for admission and care of residents in care homes.

Links to reliable resources are being regularly disseminated throughout stakeholder networks.  These include:

People with an LD and/or Autism are able to access the First Response Service (call 111 option 2), LifeLine (phone line) as well as and the newly developed phone line LifeLine Plus.

Services are making reasonable adjustments for people with LD and/or autism, and are supporting “warm handovers” to local advocacy and carer services.

Workforce guidance is available for mental health, learning disabilities and autism, and specialised commissioning services during the coronavirus pandemic.  This includes general principles, ways of working, training, releasing clinical capacity for direct patient care and safer staffing models
  • Local Authorities, Continuing Health Care, and Children and Young People are ensuring that RESTORE2 training is incorporated into their standard training offer.  This is to support early recognition of COVID symptoms, with reasonable adjustments made as required.
  • Brief RESTORE2 guidance is also available.
  • Notification submissions now include an opportunity to indicate if the person’s death is suspected/known to be related to COVID. 
  • Anyone can make a national notification of the death of a person with a learning disability - http://www.bristol.ac.uk/sps/leder/notify-a-death/
  • Reviews of all COVID related deaths will be undertaken, to ensure that lessons are learned and incorporated into future planning.