Page Updated: 11-January-2021 at 08:00
Click on a heading to go directly to information on this page:
- COVID-19 vaccination: guidance for adults with learning disabilities Updated 04-January-2021
- Challenging Behaviour Foundation: Covid-19 Vaccine guidance Updated 11-January-2021
- Easy Read Guides & Advice about the Coronavirus
- Making a plan for emergencies
- The Learning Disability Liaison Nurse Team
- Hospital Passports
- NHS England Visitor Guidance
- Guidance for adults who have Down’s syndrome
- Flu Vaccination Toolkit Updated 17-November-2020
- Oxford Health NHS Trust Foundation Learning Disability Service
- Government & Oxfordshire County Council Updates
- Adult Social Care & Health contact details
- Community Support Services (Day Centres) contact details
- Local Oxfordshire organisations offering help
- Useful resources & links to other organisations
- Direct Payments
- How to Access Health and Care Staff Testing for COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
- Oxfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board – Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR)
- Do Not Attempt Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) Decision Support Pack
- Q & A reports: Online sessions with Health and Social Care Professionals Updated 11-Dec-2020
- Upcoming Online Events & Webinars Updated 11-Dec-2020
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.
Public Health England guidance for who should have the Covid-19 vaccines
“ You should have the COVID-19 vaccine if you are:
- an adult living or working in a care home for the elderly
- a frontline healthcare worker
- a frontline social care worker
- a carer working in domiciliary care looking after older adults
- aged 65 years and over
- younger adults with long-term clinical conditions including: conditions such as a severe or profound learning disability
All people who are in the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable group will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Whether you are offered the vaccine may depend on the severity of your condition. Your GP can advise on whether you are eligible.
Follow this link to read the full Public Health England guidance: COVID-19 vaccination: guide for older adults
Challenging Behaviour Foundation: Covid-19 Vaccine guidance
For more information click on this clink, Covid-19 Vaccine guidance Accessibility and reasonable adjustments for individuals with severe learning disabilities whose behaviour challenges.
Easy Read Guides & Advice on Coronavirus
Click on each image to read more…
Easy read posters – free to print or share online. Use them on their own or in combinations to get the message across: https://www.keepsafe.org.uk/posters
Royal Cornwall Hospitals & Cornwall Down’s Syndrome Support Group (CDSSG): –
Making a plan for emergencies
- Together Matters: Emergency Planning Newsletter
- Covid-19 Emergency planning for families – templates and tips
The Learning Disability Liaison Nurse team
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 team’s 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.
The NHS produced this form that should be completed for people with a learning disability or autism and read in conjunction with the individual’s hospital passport. Click on the links below to view the guidance and to download and complete the form:
We highly recommend that you complete this and have it ready either laminated or in plastic bags just in case. If you need help with 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:
NHS England Visitor Guidance
The only exceptional circumstances where one visitor – an immediate family member or carer – will be permitted to visit are listed in this advisory briefing note: C0030_Visitor-Guidance_8-April-2020
New guidance for adults who have Down’s syndrome
Adults (18 and over) who have Down’s syndrome are to be added to the group of people who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable. This means that they have been classed as at higher risk from coronavirus. Follow the link to:
Flu Vaccination Toolkit
People with learning disabilities and their carers (family member or support worker) can have a free flu vaccination to help them stay well this winter. See this short video by NHS England and NHS Improvement:
To raise awareness locally:
- View NHS England high resolution resources about Flu Vaccinations
- Flu Vaccination Programme 2020/21 Communications Toolkit
Oxford Health NHS Trust Foundation Learning Disability Service
- Community Learning Disability Teams Contacts
- Further Easy Read resources by Oxford Health NHS
- Prioritisation Protocol for staff testing for COVID-19
Government & Oxfordshire County Council Updates
- Coronavirus information from the Government
- Oxfordshire County Council updates
- Coronavirus and claiming benefits
- Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families letter to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) community
- Guidance: Supported living services during coronavirus (COVID-19)
- OCC Guidance: Personal Protective Equipment & Home Visiting
- Government guidance stating that people with LD/autism can go out more than once a day, but only where that is in line with their individual care plans.
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)
This is the process to follow for making Social Welfare referrals (support from volunteers) arising from COVID-19:
Community Support Service (Day Centres)
The Community Support Services that operate daytime support centres across the county. Contact information:
Abingdon, Tel: 01865 897104 email@example.com
Banbury, Tel: 01865 897101 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bicester, Tel: 01865 897105 bicesterCSS@oxfordshire.gov.uk
Didcot, Tel: 01865 897100 didcotCSS@oxfordshire.gov.uk
Oxford, Tel: 01865 897102 email@example.com
Wallingford, Tel: 01865 897106 firstname.lastname@example.org
Wantage, Tel: 01865 897103 email@example.com
Witney, Tel: 01865 897107 witneyCSS@oxfordshire.gov.uk
Local Oxfordshire organisations offering help
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 resources & links to other organisations
Oxfordshire Association of Care Providers
Jointly with Berkshire Care Association and MKB Care (Buckinghamshire and MK), we are bringing together core guidance to support local care providers. We update this regularly. If you have something to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We send out three mailing each week to update providers on the current situation. Email us at email@example.com to be added to the relevant mailing list stating BCA / MKB Care / OACP.
Keepsafe – Are you looking for things to do while you stay at home? Easy Read information is available by following this link:
This page is for people and families and has been set up to help share useful links, practical tips and ideas that people who manage their direct payments have put in place for themselves and their PA’s. Hopefully by joining together and sharing, we might be able to ease some anxieties around the uncertainty.
- Oxfordshire County Council: Covid-19 Letter to people receiving Direct Payments Adults
- Covid-19 Direct Payments FAQs Adults
How to Access Health and Care Staff Testing for COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
A message from Oxfordshire County Council:
How to access testing for COVID-19 (coronavirus)
Arrangements are now in place to test frontline staff who believe they may be displaying COVID-19 symptoms. The test is recommended between day two and four of you experiencing symptoms. We are working very closely with Oxford Health to ensure we are able to help essential staff continue working to support the residents of Oxfordshire.
The symptoms to look out for include a new continuous cough and or a high temperature. Some people have reported losing their sense of smell or taste or have experienced feeling tired. More information on symptoms can be found here.
There are two different testing arrangements in place – one for health and care service staff, and one for other staff identified as key workers. The two arrangements are set out below, and further information is available in the attached document.
1. Testing for health and care service staff
Colleagues providing health and care services will be testedat a local NHS-run facility. If you believe you have symptoms of coronavirus, please contact your manager, who will refer you for testing.
If it is difficult for you to travel to the NHS testing site proposed, please let your manager know and they will suggest alternative arrangements for you with those running the NHS testing facilities.
Frontline health and care service staff include:
- All NHS staff – those working in primary care (GPs, Practice staff, dentists, pharmacists and opticians); staff delivering hospital, community, mental health and ambulance services.
- Providers of end-of-life care and hospices.
- Community equipment providers.
- Staff and voluntary workers providing support to frontline health services (e.g. catering, accommodation).
- All staff working in the independent health sector.
- Care home and domiciliary care staff.
- Adult and children’s social care workers.
- Staff and voluntary workers in residential care settings for vulnerable children and young people, including residential special schools, respite provision and residential special post-16 institutions for young people.
- Staff providing home care support to children and young people with special needs.
- Child, youth and family social care caseworkers.
- Public and environmental health staff, including inspectors.
- Staff working with the homeless and rough sleepers.
- Voluntary sector organisations providing substance misuse treatment and domestic abuse support.
2. Testing for other staff identified as key workers
These staff will be tested at one of the Government-run testing sites – our local site is at Thornhill Park and Ride in Oxford.
The Government is making online booking available for this at https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/.
Please be aware that the website is currently experiencing very high volumes of traffic and may not be accepting bookings. If you are not able to book, please do check back later.
Additional mobile testing sites are coming online and will be available across the Thames Valley for key workers to access through the online booking system.
When you go to be tested, you will need to take proof of your relevant employment. Anyone living with you who needs to be tested will need to show proof of living in the same household as you.
The Government’s list of other key workers can be found here. This list is being updated regularly.
Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR)
At this already stressful and worrying time, recent reports into the numbers of deaths of people with learning disabilities from Covid-19 have inevitably led to increased anxiety for families and people with learning disabilities.
Gail Hanrahan, our Programme Manager at OxFSN has been a member of the Vulnerable Adults Mortality group (VAM), a subgroup of the Safeguarding Adults Board (OSAB) for a couple of years, offering a family perspective and added layer of scrutiny over the process. This is part of the national LeDeR Programme.
Because of this and as a family carer led organisation we wanted to let people know as much as we could about what was happening locally and how any deaths are being reviewed here in Oxfordshire.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about the work of this group please get in touch with:
Here is the statement from The Safeguarding adults, Vulnerable Adult’s Mortality group, that oversee the LeDeR work here:
- Statement – Oxfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board – Mortality Review
- Easy Read – OSAB Mortality Review Statement
Do Not Attempt Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) Decision Support Pack
There has been a lot in the news recently about Do Not Attempt Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) orders being placed on people with Learning Disabilities without families consent or any consultation.
Learning Disability England and Turning point have developed a set of resources to inform people of their rights and how to be included in the decision making process:
- DNACPR Support Pack
- This pack is available as an interactive guide at: www.mytp.me/dnacpr
- Easy Read DNR Guide
Q & A Reports: Online Sessions with Health and Social Care Professionals
- OxFSN Q & A Session with Healthcare Professionals 9-April-2020
- OxFSN Q & A Session with OCC Adult Social Care 21-April-2020
- OxFSN Q & A Moving into Adulthood 06-May-2020
- OxFSN OxPCF Q&A Going back to School after Lockdown 11-June-2020
- OxFSN Q&A Annual Health Checks and supporting people to attend GP and Hospital Appointments 01-December-2020
OxFSN Coronavirus Newsletter
We thought it might be a good time to remind people about some of the resources available that you may find helpful and have put together a Go-To Crib Sheet so they are all in one place:
OxFSN are running online zoom meetings, coffee and chat sessions.
You can sign up through our Eventbrite page here: OxFSN Eventbrite Calendar
Online Q &A events about Health
Healthy Diet, Healthy Bowels – “Let’s talk about Poo!”
Tuesday 19th January 2021 10.00 – 11.30 am
Lots of people suffer with constipation so sometimes it’s not viewed as serious but people with a learning disability are more at risk than the general population
To find out more and to book on to this event please click here
If anyone has any questions please do get in touch and please feel free to share this information with anyone who you think might benefit from knowing about any of the events.
Family Advocate/Administrator – Family Support
M. 07821 987080
Email: Kathy.Liddell@oxfsn.org.uk to send in questions or request booking details for all online sessions.