Update for 
 learning disability and/or 
 autism services 

Welcome to the second workforce development 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, resources, events and funding opportunities from Skills for Care and partners. You can find previous newsletters here.

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.

 News from Skills for Care 

Improving the uptake of annual health checks for people with a learning disability
Skills for Care is working with partners* to explore the barriers to people with a learning disability accessing an annual health check. Evidence shows that these checks have been successful in identifying unmet health needs and reducing inequalities, however, only 53% of people with a learning disability access them. We’re running a short survey for people with a learning disability, GPs and health and social care providers to find out their experiences of annual health checks. Please complete the survey here, and share the link with colleagues and the people that you support. The deadline for responses is 17.00 on Monday 25 November 2019. Download a leaflet here to promote the survey.

*The project is funded by Health Education England South, and the partners are The National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi), Learning Disability England, Skills for Care and Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG).

Testing a peer review process for PBS training
Skills for Care is running a pilot project to test a peer review process for positive behaviour support (PBS) training. The project involves ten learning providers peer reviewing each other’s training, to ensure that it meets the relevant standards and to give feedback and share ideas. We hope that this will be a successful model to improve the quality of PBS training in the sector. The peer reviews are happening now, and we’ll publish the findings in winter 2019 on our website. We’ll include an update in the next newsletter.

Join our standing advisory group
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 policy@skillsforcare.org.uk.

Coming soon: A guide to commissioning services for autistic people
This guide is for commissioners who work in social care, health, education and children’s commissioning services for autistic people, to help you to make informed commissioning decisions and improve the outcomes for autistic people and their families. It explains the things that you need to analyse, the things that you need to do, and who/what organisations you should engage with, as well as links to useful guidance and information, to help you to identify and plan the changes needed to improve your commissioning practices and deliver person-centred outcomes for local autistic people. We hope to launch the guide in the next few weeks - watch our Twitter account for updates.

Working with families, friends and carers: a framework for adult social care employers
We’re pleased to launch an updated version of this framework, which sets out some good practice guidelines about what adult social care employers and their staff need to know and do to work effectively with families, friends and carers.The framework is for adult social care managers and those in learning and development roles in any type of social care setting. You can use the guidelines as a measure of good practice, to review and assess what you do now and identify what you can improve. It can also help to identify what learning and development around ‘working with families’ could include, to help you to design and/or commission training. Download the framework here or email us for a printed copy. Please note that we have a limited number of printed copies, and they’ll be sent out on a first come, first served basis.

Get prepared for flu season
People with a learning disability and autistic people can access a free flu jab to protect them against catching flu and developing serious complications. We’re encouraging adult social care employers to talk to the people they support, and their families, about getting a flu jab this winter. You can find out more about eligibility and accessing the flu jab here.

Statement about the Liberty Protection Safeguards
In May 2019, the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act became law, and one of the changes will be that Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) will be replaced by a new scheme of Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS). There’s a national group that’s developing a Code of Practice which will explain how the LPS will work and offer examples of best practice. Any training around the LPS should be linked to the Code of Practice, which is still in development. This means that any training delivered before the Code has been finalised and made public may not meet the required standards. Our advice is that adult social care employers do not commission training around LPS until the Code of Practice is finalised and made public. Skills for Care is developing a programme of support to help adult social care employers to implement the LPS, including learning resources and workforce guidance. Sign up to our enews to keep up-to-date.

 News from the sector 

Coming soon: Core capabilities framework for supporting autistic people 
Health Education England has funded the development of a new autism core capabilities framework for health and care staff, and staff in organisations with public facing responsibilities. The framework will span all ages.

The purpose of the framework is to support development and planning of the workforce, and to inform the design and delivery of education and training programmes.

The framework is expected to launch over the next few weeks. Watch our Twitter account for updates.

Coming soon: Learning disabilities core skills education and training framework
Skills for Health has reviewed and refreshed this framework to take into account the findings from the ‘Learning disabilities mortality review’, which found that there are some health problems that people with a learning disability might get more than other people, or that health services aren’t good at finding and treating. The aim of the framework is to ensure that health and social care staff have the skills to do something about this.

The framework will support development and planning of the workforce and inform the design and delivery of education and training programmes.

The framework is expected to launch over the next few weeks. Watch our Twitter account for updates.

Disability Hate Crime Training Resource (United Response and West Yorkshire Police)
United Response has worked with West Yorkshire Police to produce a training pack to help disabled people, including autistic people and people with a learning disability, to recognise whether they are, or have been, a victim of hate crime, and if so, how to best report it. The pack also gives advice about how to support or advocate for someone who cannot do this on their own. Download the training resource here.

Learning disability: behaviour that challenges quality standard (July 2019 update) (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)
This quality standard describes what high-quality care and support looks like when working with people who display or are at risk of displaying behaviours which challenge. It covers services for children, young people and adults with a learning disability, and best practice in working with families and carers. You can use the standard to measure the quality of care, identify gaps and areas for improvement, and plan workforce development to help you to make the required changes.

Read the updated standards here.

Medicines in health and social care: an update from the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
The CQC has published this report which shows the most common areas of risk when using medicines across health and social care in England, and shares examples of good practice and recommendations for providers.

The report includes a section for adult social care providers. One of the findings was that some providers were not carrying out competency assessments or regular checks, so were unable to demonstrate that staff were competent to administer medicines safely. Some staff reported that they hadn’t received any formal medicines training. Read the update here.

Skills for Care can help you to find high-quality training that’s delivered by endorsed providers, through our online directory, here.

 Other news 

Review of restraint, prolonged seclusion and segregation for people with a mental health problem, a learning disability or autism: interim report publication (Care Quality Commission)
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is looking at how places that provide inpatient and residential care for people with mental health problems, a learning disability, and/or autistic people use restrictive interventions, and will use the findings to make recommendations about their use.

They’ve completed phase one of the review with health care settings, and you can read the interim review here.

Phase two will review restrictive interventions in residential care homes for people with a learning disability and/or autistic people and children’s residential services. The final report is expected in March 2020.

Learning Disability Mortality Review
The Learning Disability Mortality Review (LeDeR) programme was commissioned to improve the standard and quality of care for people with a learning disability. The third annual report, published in May 2019, provides an update on the learning from this work. The latest LeDeR report cites deaths reviewed where there were concerns about the quality of care, and an average age of death that is 23 years younger than the general population for men with a learning disability and 27 years younger for women. Read the report here.


 Dates for your diary 

Please check the Skills for Care website for other events and seminars, here.

Find your local Registered Manager Network
If you're a registered manager, these networks give you the opportunity to link with like-minded colleagues who face similar, everyday challenges. Some of the 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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