Planning activities during COVID-19
Mencap has developed resources to help plan daily and weekly activities to support people to stay busy at home.
Gig Buddies, a charity for people with learning disabilities and/or autism, has compiled ideas and activities for things to do at home during COVID-19.
West Sussex young adults have developed a virtual short breaks offer and helpful information and activities.
Accessing health services during COVID-19
Visiting the GP during COVID-19
Sussex NHS Commissioners has created a short video for people with a learning disability or their family and friend carers explaining what it will be like if they need to see a doctor during the pandemic. This short film about seeing your GP has been made as part of the Help Us Help You campaign for people with learning disabilities. Amy, a GP from Shoreham talks through what is different about seeing your GP during COVID-19
Reasonable adjustments for people with learning disabilities
The two links below, to videos hosted on YouTube, explain what reasonable adjustments are and how they help people with a learning disability use mainstream health services.
Guidance on working with adults with learning disabilities and/or autism
New government guidance has been published for care workers and personal assistants who are supporting adults with learning disabilities and adults with autism during the COVID-19 outbreak. The guidance helps care staff:
- keep people with learning disabilities and/or autism safe;
- support them to understand the changes they need to make during the COVID-19 outbreak; and
- protect their own wellbeing.
Sussex NHS Commissioners has produced a flowchart for health and social care staff supporting people with learning disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Top Tips for Tricky Times: resource from the National Institute for Health Research: Ideas on how to reduce resident walking around in areas which may be unsafe due to COVID-19. Resource to support when residents do not understand social distancing or self-isolation
The British Psychological Society has issued guidance on meeting the psychological needs of people with learning disabilities and their carers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beyond Words is providing free picture stories and illustrated guides to support people with learning disabilities and autism through the coronavirus pandemic
"Please Give Me Space" social distancing cards or badges are available via the Cabinet Office. The resources can be printed and used to show that the carrier may have difficulties or concerns in maintaining social distancing.
Exemption from face covering.
Those who have an age, health or disability reason to not wear a face covering should not be routinely asked to provide any written evidence of this. Written evidence includes exemption cards.
Some people may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering, although this is a personal choice, and is not necessary in law.
If you would like to use an exemption card you can use the PDF attachments provided by the cabinet office and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)
Shielding and people with a learning disability
People with learning disabilities remain at increased risk from COVID-19 and many have been shielding. The government has said that people who have been shielded can now leave their homes if they wish, as long as they maintain strict social distancing.
If you have been supporting somebody to shield, then any changes to this must be risk assessed on an individual basis. For those at the greatest risk, NHS staff from community learning disability teams will contact you to support this process.
Where a person is unable to make their own decision and you are applying Principle 4 of the Mental Capacity Act. You will need to consult with others if you are considering changes in shielding practices under the principle of best interest. Care plans should then be updated with any changes made.