As Family Carers ourselves, we are well aware that the current situation surrounding Coronavirus will be having a huge impact on Family Carers who are supporting a family member with a learning disability.
With many organisations now enforcing new restriction rules on visiting or suspending activities until further notice this only puts more pressure on the family carer and as we know, changes in routines amongst other things can be detrimental to the person we care for.
We know also, that being a carer often results in a feeling of loneliness and isolation, so the prospect of an extended period of staying at home with a child or young adult who does not understand why their routine has had to change can be overwhelming.
Whilst OxFSN are not able to provide a magic solution, we are here for any family carer who feels they need some support and whilst we may not have the answers you need immediately, we will endeavour to get them as soon as we can, if we can.
It is also important that you reach out and stay connected with families and friends over this period of uncertainty. So please don’t hesitate to get in contact.
We will continue to share on this web page any further information we come across.
Stay safe but stay connected.
Easy Read Guides & Advice about the Coronavirus
Click on each image to read more…
Making a plan for emergencies
For any Family Carers who are concerned about visiting family members in a hospital during this period we have been in contact with the Learning Disability Nursing Team who had this to say.
They have confirmed that the visitor restrictions will not directly apply to carers, and that as an organisation they value the important role of family carers and support workers to provide care and advocate for the people they care for, and view this role as different to visitors. They will continue to work with carers and ward staff to assess individuals’ needs at this time, and establish what is required to meet needs and minimise the risk of spread of COVID-19.
The Learning Disability Liaison Nurse team can support in identifying needs and how they can best meet them. They appreciate that the availability of family carers and support workers will be changing as the current situation unfolds, and each situation will be different. Having Hospital Passports and care plans ready to bring in will be very helpful and they have attached a link to a hospital passport as well as a flyer for the teams contact details.
It was bought to our attention that the current hospital passport that our family members use when admitted to hospital whilst still necessary, is too long for frontline staff to be able to read quickly. We have attached a shortened version along with some useful tips on how to fill it out that has been designed by a learning disability nurse.
To view and download the short form versions see:
- Hospital Passport short version (pdf)
- Hospital Passport short version (word)
- Short hospital passport tips
We highly recommend that you complete this and have it ready either laminated or in plastic bags just in case. If you need help on this please get in contact with one of the OxFSN Team.
Also attached is the longer version which can be completed with more details. The shortened version will not replace the usual passport. It will just aid staff to obtain the key information they need more quickly.
All versions and tips on how to complete a hospital passport can be viewed and downloaded by clicking on the images:
- Coronavirus information from the Government
- Oxfordshire County Council updates
- Government Guidance COVID-19 for supported living & residential provision
- Coronavirus and claiming benefits
- Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families letter to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) community
Oxfordshire County Council Adult Social & Health Care
Click here for ways to contact: Adult Social & Health Care
Tel: 0345 050 7666
8.30am – 5pm Monday – Thursday
8.30am – 4pm Friday
Out of hours emergency number: 0800 833408 (freephone)
The Community Support Services that operate daytime support centres across the county. Contact information:
Abingdon, Tel: 01865 897104 firstname.lastname@example.org
Banbury, Tel: 01865 897101 email@example.com
Bicester, Tel: 01865 897105 bicesterCSS@oxfordshire.gov.uk
Didcot, Tel: 01865 897100 didcotCSS@oxfordshire.gov.uk
Oxford, Tel: 01865 897102 firstname.lastname@example.org
Wallingford, Tel: 01865 897106 email@example.com
Wantage, Tel: 01865 897103 firstname.lastname@example.org
Witney, Tel: 01865 897107 witneyCSS@oxfordshire.gov.uk
Oxford Health NHS Trust Foundation Learning Disability Service
Help from local organisations in Oxfordshire
For the older family carers, both Carers Oxfordshire and Age UK Oxfordshire are also increasing the support they provide. They are offering a new, free, telephone support service which will include a regular weekly call to see how people are as they are limiting home visits to essential visits only. If you think you would benefit from this service, call 01865 411 288 where you can leave your name and contact number.
KEEN Oxford can be of any help in supporting carers and their families during this time then please do let us know. We are a charity focussed on the inclusion of people with disabilities and additional needs so our volunteer team all have lots of experience working with our hugely diverse participants. What we can offer:
Extra numbers of people to provide check in phone calls to carers or disabled people – Extra numbers of people to provide practical support e.g. shopping/dog walking – Signposting to easy read resources / mental health guidance/inclusive online activities and anything else you can think of really.
A lot of our team have DBS checks through KEEN Oxford for which we’d be able to send your photos should this be necessary. We already have >50 members of the KEEN volunteer team offering to provide support to any community groups needing it.
Contact Tel: 07806 743 595
Oxfordshire All In. This website lists organisations that are co-ordinating help across Oxfordshire in case anyone needs some support for getting medication, shopping, etc.: visit https://www.oxfordshireallin.org/
Useful resource links to other organisations
Keepsafe – Are you looking for things to do while you stay at home? Easy Read information is available by following this link:
Upcoming Webinar – Meet the health professionals – get your questions answered (coronavirus)
As Family Carers ourselves, we are well aware that the current situation surrounding the Coronavirus will be having a huge impact on Family Carers who are supporting a family member with a learning disability.
To stay connected, and to help answer any questions or concerns that you may have, we are planning our first interactive question and answer session on Thursday 9th April from 3.00 – 4.00 pm. This session will be with key professionals from the Health Sector including Stephanie Ross, Lead Learning Disability Liaison Nurse at Oxford University Hospitals Trust (OUH).
This will be your opportunity to hear first-hand what is happening to support both people with a learning disability and autism and family carers if they are admitted to hospital with coronavirus.
Whilst we recognise that changes are being made daily, it would be helpful for the hospital staff to have an idea of the types of concerns and worries you have before the meeting so that they can be prepared with the latest information. Please submit any questions you have to Kathy.email@example.com by noon on Wednesday 8th April.
The meeting will take place online using zoom. This is very easy to use and we will send out instructions on how to sign up prior to the meeting.
Numbers are limited to 50 but please join us if you can. For those who are unable to make that time please email us if you wish to receive a copy of the questions and answers.
You can sign up by clicking on the following link:
This is the first time we are trying this type of online event so bear with us. If it’s a success we will plan on doing more, possibly with key professionals from children and adult social care.
As always, please do get in contact if you have any questions.
Take care and stay safe
work: 07821 987080