Information for providers supporting people with a learning disability and / or autism
This page has information on the following:
National and local guidance for providers supporting people with learning disabilities and /or autism
The government has published Covid-19 guidance for providers of supported living settings (6 August 2020) which replaces guidance withdrawn on 13 May 2020. The guidance is primarily aimed at managers, care and support workers and other staff in supported living settings.
This guidance sets out:
- key messages to assist with planning and preparation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic so that local procedures can be put in place to minimise risk and provide the best possible support to people in supported living settings
- safe systems of working including, social distancing, respiratory and hand hygiene and enhanced cleaning
- how infection prevention and control (IPC) and personal protective equipment (PPE) applies to supported living settings
Section 3 of the national guidance documents below contains useful information and specialist advice related to the care of people with learning disabilities and/or autism:
COVID-19: how to work safely in domiciliary care in England 20 July 2020
COVID-19: how to work safely in care homes 20 July 2020
The Social Care Institute for Excellence has developed the following guides:
The Government has brought together all guidance related to coronavirus and home care in one place. The guidance document below answers frequently asked questions for providers who support and deliver care to people in their own homes, including supported living settings.
Please refer to our infection control and PPE pages for local advice and guidance documents and links to related national guidance.
Local joint guidance from Staffordshire CCGs and Staffordshire Police on supporting people with a learning disability or autism is available here:
Other online resources to help providers support people with learning disabilities and / or autism during the pandemic
In its August workforce development update, Skills for Care highlights the following resources that you may find interesting:
- Psychological support for people with learning disabilities (including Thriving with Nature - an updated guide from WWF and the Mental Health Foundation on the mental health benefits of being outdoors, including examples of activities for all seasons)
- Films and other resources on wearing face coverings in shops and on public transport
- Positive behaviour helpline for families and carers from BILD, recorded webinars by North East London Foundation Trust
Free resources for carers to support people with learning disabilities through the pandemic
Beyond Words has a range of free picture books and illustrated guides for use by carers (and family) to help them support people with learning disabilities during the pandemic. The topics covered include what to do if you have Covid-19, how to keep yourself and other people safe and to prompt discussion about the impact of Covid-19 on people's lives and especially the impact of people dying from Covid-19.
Other resources for providers of services to people with learning disabilities and / or autism
On 20 May 2020, Dr Richard Harling, Director of Health and Care, wrote to update supported living providers on the second phase of financial support being provided by the council. The letters below are available for downloading and offline reading.
As you will be well aware, the NHS needs us to support more people, as hospital beds need to be freed up for those who need them most - and they may well be needed for your service users in the future.
The hospital discharge team should be able to answer any questions you may have about the discharge process for your service user.
If you have any specific query that you cannot resolve by speaking to the hospital, then please email us on email@example.com and we will link the query with our NHS colleagues.
If an adult refuses care from a care provider then the following will happen:
- care agencies should refer all refusals of care to the allocated worker or relevant area team via Staffordshire Cares 0300 111 8010
- if the adult has capacity then the social work team will have a discussion with them about the implications of this decision, establishing how they will manage their care needs e.g. support from family etc. Where possible this will be the responsibility of area duty teams, recording this discussion on our Care Director system.
- should a person's representative or carer refuse support on their behalf practitioners must make contact with the person to confirm that they are aware of this before any decisions in relation to withdrawing support are made. Should there be any concerns that a representative/carer is not acting in a person's best interest then established due processes must be followed.
If an adult in receipt of care is advised to self isolate and refuses, the care provider will need to inform adult social care of this refusal by contacting Staffordshire Cares on 0300 111 8010
If the adult lacks capacity a discussion must be had with the advocate or identified family member to explain the risks etc. and then to consider the care continuing in the adult’s best interest. This will be the responsibility of the relevant area duty team who can be contacted via Staffordshire Cares on 0300 111 8010
This discussion and decision will need to be recorded on Care Director system.
In June 2020, the Care Provider Alliance has developed a visitors protocol for providers. The protocol aims to provide a set of principles and tips to help people using care and support to have the opportunity to safely receive visitors during the Covid-19 pandemic. These resources complement the government's guidance for care homes on developing their policies for non-essential visits issued on 22 July 2020. Within that guidance, it is set out that care homes should take account of any local advice and guidance. You can find our local advice for Staffordshire on the Information for Care Homes page.
The local advice also sets out the circumstances in which Staffordshire advises care homes to return to essential visits only.
Please can you ensure that you take account of this advice in developing your visiting policy.
Staffordshire Care Home Visiting Guidance (208 KB) 29 July 2020
It is primarily aimed at care settings which cater for older people, including people with dementia However, it will be of help for other care settings supporting working age people.
The learning disabilities mortality review programme is funded by NHS England and commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP). It is the first national programme of its kind in the world.
Its overall aims are to:
- support improvements in the quality of health and social care service delivery for people with learning disabilities
- help reduce premature mortality and health inequalities for people with learning disabilities
The programme was established in response to the recommendations of the confidential inquiry into the premature deaths of people with learning disabilities (CIPOLD).
All deaths of people with learning disabilities should be notified to the LeDeR team. This includes deaths associated with Covid-19. This is in order to ascertain the numbers of people with learning disabilities who die each year, and their characteristics. All deaths of people with learning disabilities aged 4 years and over will be reviewed, regardless of whether the death was expected or not, the cause of death or the place of death. Before the age of 4 years it is often difficult to assess whether a child has learning disabilities or not.
The LeDeR programme is using the definition of learning disabilities provided in the 2001 White Paper 'Valuing People'. The purpose of reviewing deaths is to identify if there are any potentially avoidable contributory factors associated with the deaths of people with learning disabilities.
Who can notify of a death?
Anyone can notify a death including people with learning disabilities themselves, family members, friends and paid staff.
How can you notify a death?
Notify a death online or call 0300 777 4774
Further information on notifying a death
A poster about how to notify a death (external link to a PDF document) is available to download from the University of Bristol website.
If you would like any printed copies, please contact the LeDeR team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call them on 0117 331 0686
For more information please see the University of Bristol website.