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Learning Disabilities, Autism and Mental Health

COVID-19 Vaccinations and Resources

To support people understand more about vaccinations, support access to services and gaining consent or making best interest decisions, a number of new resources are available to use.

Easy Read / Accessible Resources
Latest resources available: A suite of resource links and guidance is also available for in the Patient, carer and family engagement and communication during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic publication from NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Trust have also produced two new videos to help people experiencing difficulties while wearing masks:

Annual Health Checks

It is essential that Annual Health Checks continue to happen during the pandemic to reduce the risk to lives of people with a learning disability and ensure they stay healthy. Our GP practices are offering Annual Health Checks and this will mainly be using virtual formats that patients can manage. When a concern arises in the consultation, a physical examination can then be arranged as appropriate to that concern. Take a look at the below resources available to help support people to attend Annual Health Checks and get the most out of the consultation:

Dementia News

People affected by dementia remain the worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Social contact is are vital to the health and wellbeing of people affected by dementia.

Alzheimer's Society has a dedicated page on support for people affected by dementia during the pandemic, this also includes some stories about peoples experiences and the Dementia Talking Point online forum. Singing for the Brain has moved to virtual gatherings as well, Somerset contacts can help you to get involved.
Also take a look at Dementia Somerset for local contacts and services that can support people living with dementia, their family, friends and carers.

Jokes on you, Dementia!
Jo and HughJoin comedic legend Jo Brand, and others, at Joke’s on You, Dementia! Hosted by Hugh Dennis, the comedy event will be streamed over YouTube on 11th March at 7pm. Tickets and sign up are free, with audiences invited to donate what they can to make a huge difference to the lives of people living with dementia. 

The Dementia Hero Awards 2021
Dementia Hero AwardsThe Dementia Hero Awards 2021, sponsored by Tunstall Healthcare, will showcase the stories of people doing outstanding things during the pandemic – Alzheimer's Society's dementia heroes. The awards will recognise the inspirational achievements of those caring for people with dementia, finding innovative solutions in research, and fighting for the rights of people with dementia.
Why not nominate someone who has inspired you? You can even nominate yourself! Just be sure to make your nominations by 5th March

Events of Interest

Raising Awareness of Reasonable Adjustments (with Gloucestershire University and Paula McGowan)
Tue 23 Feb 2021 at 09:00 | Eventbrite

Paula McGowan, the activist behind the mandatory training in learning disability and/or autism for NHS health and social care staff passing Government support, talks about Oliver's story (her son) who's death was avoidable and what we can all do to prevent similar deaths like this happening again.

Identifying early signs of worsening health in a person with a learning disability
Tues 23 Feb - Fri 31 Mar 2021 (30 sessions to choose from - 90 min)

The NHS England and NHS Improvement Learning Disability and Autism Programme is inviting family carers to take part in a workshop. The workshop is free and open to family carers looking after adults and children aged over 16. The workshop uses RESTORE2 mini. This is a programme designed for carers to help to spot signs that someone they care for may be unwell and what to do next to get them help.

Coronavirus and people with learning disabilities – what do we know now?
Tue 2 Mar 2021 at 10:30

This workshop is open to people with learning disabilities, family members, and paid supporters; as well as people with responsibility for commissioning or delivering services and those in policy or development roles

CYP Mental Health

Children’s MFree resources for schools, families and youth groupsental Health Week took place on 1-7 February and updated NHS guidance from Professor Prathiba Chitsabesan for both parents and carers and young people

Also see The Every Mind Matter's campaign page on Looking after a child or young person's mental health  and Somerset Mental Health Hub's list of services for children and young people.


Useful Resources

NHS Somerset Foundation Trust's Virtual Resource Hub provides excellent support for providers looking to improve accessible information. View their poster attached, or email to book an appointment.

The Mental Capacity Act Resource Pack from Mencap provides useful terminology that simply explains how family carers can support decision making  for individuals with profound and multiple learning disabilities family.

The attached DNACPR Support Pack, when used appropriately should help to ensure that a person's death is dignified and as peaceful as possible. Further information can also be found on Learning Disability England's DNR: A guide for understanding your rights and challenging decisions webpage.

National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health (NCISH) have recently launched an online resource with sections containing information on different aspects of care for people who self-harm, including guidance on staff training and awareness of self-harm, service user experiences, self-harm and COVID-19 as well as additional resources for parents, carers and schools.

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