Welcome to our
first update for learning disability and/or autism services
These updates will focus on workforce development for adult social care
services for autistic people and people who have a learning disability.
We’ll share the latest news, tools, events and funding opportunities from
Skills for Care and other partners.
We’ll send these updates out quarterly, in addition to ad-hoc updates when
we have important news to share.
You can also sign up to our fortnightly enews for regular updates
from Skills for Care.
We were all shocked and saddened by the recent exposure of bad practice, such
as the Panorama programme featuring Whorleton Hall. This has made us more
determined than ever to support adult social care employers to recruit,
develop and retain excellent staff who have the right values, skills and
knowledge to provide high quality care and support. To that end, we hope
that this newsletter will be helpful.
from Skills for Care
New resources to
support people with a learning disability with their mental health
People with a learning disability can be more likely to experience poor
mental health. We've developed free resources to help adult social care
staff talk to people about their everyday mental health, and enable them to
get the support they need.
The resources include an animation, two posters about what makes people
feel worried and what can help, and a wellbeing journal.
Download the resources here.
about the learning disability and autism workforce
We’ve updated our research report that provides an overview of the adult
social care workforce supporting people with learning disabilities and/or
autism. The report shows that there were an estimated 665,000 jobs in this
workforce in 2017/18 (the latest complete data set), and 57,600 (9%) were
in the local authority sector and 575,000 (86%) were in the independent
sector. It also explores key workforce demographics including an employment
overview, recruitment and retention, pay and qualifications.
Read the report here.
Testing a peer
review process for PBS training
We’re running a pilot project to test a peer review process for PBS
training. This will involve a number of learning providers who peer review
each other’s training, to give feedback and share ideas. We hope that this
will be a successful model to improve the quality of PBS training across
the sector. Find out more about this project by listening to this webinar, and you can download the presentation
At the beginning of this project, we did a survey to understand more about
PBS training and learning provision in adult social care. Download the
findings from the survey here.
If you have any questions about the project, please email us.
autism services consultation
Skills for Care, National Autistic Society (NAS) and National Development
Team for Inclusion (NDTi), on behalf of the Department of Health and Social
Care (DHSC), are developing a guide for commissioners who work in social
care, health and children's commissioning for services for autistic people.
The guide looks at the key questions that you need to answer to make
informed commissioning decisions. It explains the things that commissioners
need to measure, what they need to do, who to engage with, as well as links
to useful guidance and information.
We’re also developing a calculator to support the guidance. It’s based on
local authority figures and aims to support understanding of the estimated
current and future population of autistic people, to inform planning and
Download the draft guidance and find out how you can provide feedback here.
Join our standing
We want to set up a group of people with a learning disability and/or
autistic people who can consider and advise us on the work that we do. This
could be via telecom, email or face-to-face meetings, and we can cover
reasonable travel and participation costs. If you know someone who might be
interested, please email email@example.com.
Update on Liberty
The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 has now received Royal Assent and
become law. The legislation provides for the repeal of the Deprivation of
Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) contained in the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and
their replacement with a new scheme called the Liberty Protection
Skills for Care is working with partners to identify the workforce
development implications of these changes in adult social care and develop
We’ll provide further updates in this newsletter.
from the sector
Stay up late
Stay Up Late is a charity that promotes full and active social lives for
people with learning disabilities. One of the most frequently asked
questions they get asked is “how can you support teams to write rotas that
support people to stay up late?”
This article, ‘The secret to writing a #NoBedTimes rota’, shares how
services can write a flexible rota that enables people with learning
disabilities to stay up late (if they want to), and live their life based
around how they choose.
Read the article here.
Know Your Rights
The Autism Alliance UK launched their ‘Know Your Rights’ awareness raising
campaign in April to celebrate World Autism Awareness Month.
The Alliance is concerned that autistic people can’t always access proper
community care assessments. The aim of the campaign is to ensure that
autistic people know their rights around care needs assessment, and that
local authorities ensure that staff are informed about their legal
obligations to them.
Find out more about the campaign here. The Alliance has also produced a series of free
downloads for autistic people and local authorities, which you can download
at the bottom of the web page.
briefings about autism
Autistica has worked with autistic people, researchers and health
professionals to develop a set of briefings for policy makers who are
reviewing the English Autism Strategy. The briefings contain
recommendations on a series of topics based on the latest research
and young people's mental health
Read the briefings here. They’ll be releasing further
briefings in the coming months, including information about access to adult
diagnosis, diagnosis of women and employment.
guide to quality care for autistic people
The National Autistic Taskforce has produced ‘An independent guide to
quality care for autistic people’. The guide focuses on developing autonomy
for autistic people and sets out some of the practical details involved in
achieving self-determination. It focuses on the person themselves as the
primary source of information, instruction and guidance, and so the guide
moves towards autistic leadership and beyond co-production. It’s aimed
primarily at care providers, commissioners and inspectorates, and can also
be helpful to others in implementing the development of autonomy.
Download the guide here.
Tell us how the
‘Every day is different’ campaign has helped your service
Between February and April 2019, the Department of Health and Social Care
(DHSC) launched the ‘Every day is different’ campaign to raise awareness
about careers in social care.
One of the proposed outcomes of the campaign was to support adult social
care providers with their local recruitment needs.
DHSC is now reviewing the impact of the campaign and would love to hear
from providers who have, for example, seen increased interest in jobs,
increased website visits or increased applications.
If you’ve seen a positive impact in your service, or know an employer that
has, please email Sarah Chaudry from DHSC here.
New edition of
#WeSupportSTOMP game launched
VODG has launched a new, larger version of the STOMP card game.
The primary purpose of the game is to prompt conversations between people
with a learning disability, autistic people and their support staff about
psychotropic medication. It can also be used to raise staff awareness about
good practice in tackling over-medication.
This new game is A5 size and is suitable for playing on the floor. It’s
also more usable for people who struggle to hold the smaller cards and for
people with visual impairments.
Find out more about the game here.
Learning disability nursing associates training grant
Health Education England (HEE) is offering an enhanced training grant for
trainee nursing associates in NHS commissioned services for people with a
learning disability. This training grant is to support staff who are
spending at least 50% of their time working in learning disability
services and who commence their nursing associate training before 31
At the moment this is not available to social care services, but HEE
suggest getting in touch with your local HEE contact if you want to find
Find out more here.
restraint, prolonged seclusion and segregation for people with a mental
health problem, a learning disability or autism: interim report
Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published the interim findings of their
review of the use of restrictive interventions in places that provide
care for people with mental ill-health, a learning disability and/or
The interim report focuses exclusively on the experiences of 39 people
who are cared for in segregation on a mental health ward for children and
young people, or on a ward for people with a learning disability or
On their visits, they found that a high proportion of people in
segregation were autistic, that many staff lacked the necessary training
and skills, and some of the wards didn’t have a built environment that
was suitable for autistic people with autism. The interim report makes a
number of recommendations for the health and care system, including for
Read the preliminary findings and download the report here.
The full findings and recommendations are due to be published in Spring
NHS England and NHS Improvement are inviting all providers of specialised
mental health, learning disability and autism services to become part
of ‘Provider Collaboratives’, as part of the New Care Models roll
out. The collaboratives will become an important delivery vehicle
for improving specialised mental health services. This initial call is
for the lead partners, which must be NHS organisations. If you’re
interested in being a partner, please contact your NHS England or NHS
Improvement regional contact to find out more. You can read more about
the collaboratives here.
Please note: the collaboratives don’t replace Transforming Care. The
Transforming Care and New Care Models programmes share the common purpose
of shifting resource to the community, so that people can be supported in
their local community in less restrictive settings.
Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) annual report launched
Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) has published their 2018
annual report, which indicates ongoing concerns about the premature
deaths of people with a learning disability.
The review found that adults with a learning disability from Black, Asian
and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups appear to be under-represented in
notifications of deaths. Women with a learning disability died 27 years
earlier, and men 23 years earlier, when compared to the general
population. And potentially treatable illnesses such as pneumonia, or
aspiration pneumonia, were identified as causes of death in 41% of
Read the full report here, including an easy read version.
New guidance on
relationships and sexuality in adult social care services
CQC has published new guidance for registered providers which focuses on
supporting people who need care and support to express their sexuality
and to have their needs met. The guidance explains the importance of
enabling people to manage their sexuality needs, and how you can support
people to access the education and information to develop and maintain
Download the guidance here.
for your diary
There are no dates
for your diary at the moment.
Please check the
Skills for Care website for other events and seminars, here.
Registered managers can also engage with your local Registered Manager
Network. Some of these networks are specifically for managers of services
for people with a learning disability and/or autistic people. Find your
local network here.
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