Workforce update for 
 services that support people 
 with a learning disability 
 and/or autistic people 

Welcome to this workforce development update for adult social care services that support people with a learning disability and/or autistic people.

It shares the latest news, resources, events and funding opportunities from Skills for Care and partners, visit our website to view previous newsletters.

If you’ve been forwarded this newsletter you can also sign up to receive it, simply select ‘Learning disability and/or autism’ option under the ‘Areas of interest’ section.
 News from Skills for Care 

The Oliver McGowen Mandatory Training in Learning Disability and Autism  
This training will ensure staff working in health and social care receive learning disability and autism training, at the right level for their role. They will have a better understanding of people’s needs, resulting in better services and improved health and wellbeing outcomes.

The next public forum is on 1 December 2021, register for this event.

Restraint Reduction Network (RRN) Training Standards  
The Restraint Reduction Network (RRN) Training Standards (2019) provide a national benchmark for training in restrictive practices. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Skills for Care expect all adult social care services to adopt the standards.

The requirement for relevant training to be delivered by certified providers came into effect in April 2021. (It was delayed by a year to recognise the impact of the pandemic).

We advise that:
  • Local authority commissioners include ‘UKAS accredited certification of training services to demonstrate they meet the RRN Training Standards’ in commissioning requirements whenever staff will be trained in restrictive interventions.
  • Service providers ensure that they commission and/or deliver training that complies with the standards and use external learning providers that have been certified deliver training that complies with the standards. Bild ACT has been licensed by the RRN to certify learning providers as complying with the training standards.
    ⇨ See the Bild ACT certified organisation list.

Find out more about the Restraint Reduction Network (RRN) Training Standards.

Skills for Care strategy 2021 – 2024
Our new strategy sets out Skills for Care’s direction over the next three years. We will work towards our mission and vision of supporting everyone who works across social care to create a fair and just society, where people can access the advice, care and support they need to live life to the fullest.

Our four strategic priorities for investment and growth, which we developed based on feedback and insight from across social care, will help us to shape the make-up of the social care workforce, drive forward reform and ensure that social care is seen as a valued and worthwhile career:

  • Increasing workforce capacity to make sure we have the right number of people, with the right values and behaviours, working in social care now and in the future.
  • Supporting workforce capabilities to ensure staff have the right skills, knowledge, competencies, values and behaviours to meet current and future needs in our communities.
  • Supporting culture and diversity to ensure the workforce is treated equally, feels included and valued, and is supported to stay well and pursue their careers in social care.
  • Improving the social care system to ensure it is well funded, supports people to live the lives that they choose and attracts the right people to the workforce.
Read more about the Skills for Care strategy

New Care Certificate support resources available  
These resources are designed to support workers entering the workforce to develop the range of specialist knowledge and skills in Learning Disability services; also available are resource for Mental Health, Dementia and Lone Working roles.

Access the resources.

Supporting people with learning disabilities to have meaningful personal relationships  
Skills for Care has a guide for employers about how they can develop their staff to support people with learning disabilities to have meaningful personal relationships.

⇨ Download the guide

Improving the uptake of Annual Health Checks for people with learning disabilities  
Funded by Health Education England (HEE South), Skills for Care have been working with The National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi), Learning Disability England (LDE) and Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) to find out what the uptake of Annual Health Checks (AHC) is across the south region, and if any particular groups of people are having difficulties in getting their check.

The project has pulled together a large number of resources to help people to find out about and be supported to access AHCs.
You can also watch a webinar about the project

We are planning further webinars about the project which will help people in each of our regions. Please check our website to book your place.

We will be updating our COVID-19 Resource List soon

This will include additional information about vaccinations and information about supporting people coming out of lockdown. In the meantime, you can access the resources below:


Coming out of Covid restrictions:

 Guidance from the Government, 
 NHS and key stakeholders 

National Strategy for Autistic Children, Young People and Adults 2021-2026
The introduction of the Autism Act in 2009 was ground-breaking but it’s recognised that much still needs to be done to improve the lives of autistic people. There’s also the recognition that the pandemic has had a particular impact on autistic people and their families.

The strategy aims to create a society that truly understands and includes autistic people in all aspects of life; one in which autistic people of all ages, backgrounds and across the country have equal opportunities to play a full part in their communities and to have better access to the services they need throughout their lives.

⇨ View the strategy

Commissioning services for autistic people

As part of this strategy Skills for Care, National Development Team for Inclusion and the National Autistic Society have developed three resources to support health and social care commissioners improve how they commission services that support autistic people and improve the outcomes for them and their families.

The following three resources have been developed in partnership with autistic people and organisations that are engaged with autistic people:

  • Framework which explains the things that you need to analyse, do and who you should engage with along with links to other useful guidance.
  • Framework diagram which shows the support services that autistic people and their family members should be able access and therefore the support services you need to commission.
  • Population calculator for autistic people to estimated number of autistic people in your local authority.
⇨ Find out more and view the resources
Supporting autistic people flourishing at home and beyond: Considering and meeting the sensory needs of autistic people in housing report
This report introduces autism viewed as a sensory processing difference. It outlines some of the different sensory challenges commonly caused by physical environments and offers adjustments that would better meet sensory needs in housing.

This project and report was co-produced with a group of people with lived experience and commissioned by NDTi by the Care and Health Improvement Programme.The full report includes a sensory checklist and recommendations for improvements.

⇨ View the report
⇨ View an additional checklist for autism-friendly environments
Shaping Future Support: The Health and Disability Green Paper
The Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory has published two new studies looking at causes and rates of premature mortality amongst people with learning disabilities. Key findiThe health and disability green paper explore how the welfare system can better meet the needs of disabled people and people with health conditions now and in the future, enabling people to live independently and move into work. Autistic people and people who have a learning disability may want to contribute – easy read versions of documents are available.

⇨ Find out more

The treatment of autistic people and people with learning disabilities - Published by the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee 
The report published on 13 July 2021 addresses the following key areas:
  • Community support; reducing the number of autistic people and people with learning disabilities in inpatient facilities and the benefits of the Trieste model.
  • The use of restrictive practices in inpatient facilities and wider concerns relating to the appropriateness and continued use of such facilities.
  • The wellbeing of and accountability for autistic people and people with learning disabilities including the creation of a new role. The Intellectual Disability Physician and the need for independent reviews into the deaths of autistic people and people with learning disabilities.
⇨ Read the report
⇨ Read the Challenging Behaviour Foundation’s full statement on the Committee’s report and their views on the urgent action which the government must take.

Modernising lasting powers of attornet (LPA)

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf. There are 2 types of LPA: health and welfare; property and financial affairs. You can choose to make one type or both.

In the 14 years since LPAs were introduced, technology has advanced and become more widely available, and people expect to be able to access government services online. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) are working on a project to modernise lasting powers of attorney.

The consultation on modernising lasting powers of attorney considers how to increase safeguards, whilst ensuring accessibility and OPG sustainability, and any changes to primary legislation may be needed to facilitate this. They’re asking for views on the following:

  • the role and value of witnessing on LPAs and how to keep that value
  • the role of applying to register an LPA and who can apply
  • changes that may be needed to OPG's remit
  • changes to how people can object to the registration of an LPA
  • changes to when people can object
  • the speed of the LPA service and whether a dedicated faster service should be introduced for people who need an LPA urgently
  • how to ensure that solicitors have access to the service.

Read the consultation and take the survey

Read the statement from MoJ

Independent report – Independent Care (Education) and Treatment Reviews 
An independent report published on 21 July 2021 and recommendations from Baroness Hollins and the Oversight Panel’s review of the Independent Care (Education) and Treatment Reviews.

In developing the Thematic Review, Alicia Wood and Baroness Hollins conducted a detailed analysis of 26 (a third) of the 77 IC(E)TRs to derive thematic learning and identify the common concerns and issues relating to the care and treatment of people with learning disabilities and/or autism in long-term segregation.

⇨ View the report

The Restraint Reduction Network have responded to Baroness Hollins Thematic Review which shows that that over half of those subject to long-term segregation are diagnosed as autistic. Autistic people are disproportionately impacted by inpatient care.

⇨ Find out more

The Department of Health and Social Care’s response to the report and recommendations.

⇨ View the recommendation – link 1
⇨ View the recommendations – link 2

The Department of Health and Social Care has published responses to both the above reports

⇨ Read the DHSC response here

⇨ Read the easy read version here

⇨ Read the letter from Helen Whately MP to Baroness Hollins here

⇨ Read the original Oversight Panel’s report here

⇨ Read learning disability England’s response to the above reports “Our plea is for real and sustained action”

DHSC COVID-19 guidance roundup: Supporting adults with learning disabilities and autism  
Guidance for care staff supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults and for people providing unpaid care to these groups, during the COVID-19 pandemic, has been updated.

Resources include fun, instructional videos, such as the one pictured above, demonstrating how to maintain effective infection prevention and control, at home and in other settings.

NHS national data opt-out  
The national data opt-out was introduced on 25 May 2018, allowing patients to opt out from the use of their data for research or planning purposes, in line with the recommendations of the National Data Guardian review of data security, consent and opt-outs.

Patients can view or change their national data opt-out choice at any time by using the online service or by clicking on ‘Your Health’ in the NHS App, and selecting ‘Choose if data from your health records is shared for research and planning’.

⇨ View the easy read versions of the patient information leaflet.
British Association of Social Worker’s (BASW’s) Homes not Hospital’s campaign launch webinar
Homes not Hospital’s campaign aims to help prevent people with learning disabilities and autistic adults from experiencing restrictive care.

You can now watch their Homes not Hospital’s campaign launch of key documents webinar. This includes introductions from a range of perspectives, including Charlotte Goulding, NICE’s social care policy and practice support manager.

⇨ Find out more
CQC COVID-19 Insight 11: Focus on our work to support people with a learning disability
CQC have previously highlighted concerns about the care of people with a learning disability and autistic people. The COVID-19 pandemic has served to shine a light on some of these pre-existing challenges, gaps and poor-quality care.

As part of their provider collaboration review, they have explored these issues for learning disability services, and the impact of the pandemic on people who use services, providers and stakeholders.

⇨ View the report

Reasonable adjustments for covid vaccinations
Reasonable adjustments are a legal requirement to make sure health services are accessible to all disabled people and the NHS has developed two resources for use by clinicians and non-clinicians supporting the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

They provide top tips for Clinicians and Volunteers on communicating with people with a learning disability and autistic people and highlight the range of reasonable adjustments that should be considered to ensure that a vaccination appointment goes well.

⇨ Find out more

A for Adjustment resources
Health Education England has commissioned a suite of resources to support healthcare workers to consider discrimination and rights so they can adjust their services to support people with learning disabilities and autistic people.

The resources are separated into 5 sessions and each one includes a plan, slides, supplementary information and case studies. The resources are complementary to those hosted by MindEd and e-Learning for Healthcare and are available to download using the links below.

This training is different to the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in Learning Disability and Autism.

⇨ Find out more

Learning disability mortality review (LeDeR): Action from learning report 2020/21 
The fifth annual University of Bristol LeDeR report was published in June, and considers reviews of deaths notified to LeDeR in the calendar years 2018 to 2020, summarises what is working well and makes recommendations to address inequalities and prevent premature mortality among people with a learning disability.

⇨ View the report

In the June newsletter, we noted changes to the LeDeR Policy and since June, the new name for the LeDeR programme is Learning from Life and Death Reviews.

⇨ Find out more

Connecting for Change – for the future of learning disability nursing
This publication explores contemporary issues concerning the field of learning disability nursing and sets out a series of recommendations and priorities that the UK government and devolved administrations need to address. It also identifies priorities for the RCN to take forward.

⇨ View the publication
 News from the sector  

Launching the Autism Core Capabilities reEPository: Findings from the ACCEPT project
A group of key organisations carried out a survey and research into training on autism and the use of The Core Capabilities Framework for Supporting Autistic People (CCF) (2019) which details core capabilities that a workforce must meet when working with and for supporting autistic people.They identified gaps within autism training; barriers which prevent autistic people becoming more involved in training, and barriers for professionals accessing autism training.

They include recommendations to enhance training, and for autistic people to become involved in training from design to delivery. They also suggest that the CCF is recognised as the “gold-standard” template for autism training.

⇨ Read the report | ⇨ Easy read version
A New Valuing People Alliance 2021-2024 
This new group, led by Learning Disability England, is made up of national voluntary sector organisations will work with people with learning disabilities, autistic people and their families and with health, social care and disability organisations.

The Alliance will set out its full agenda in the autumn, focusing on key issues: developing more inclusive services as we recover from the pandemic; tackling health inequalities, especially for people with learning disabilities from Black and Minority ethnic communities or with profound and multiple learning disabilities; supporting the development of social care policy that supports everyone; making sure that people with lived experience and voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations are involved in making Building the Right Support programmes work.

⇨ Find out more
STOMP - Stopping the Over the Medication of autistic people
A resource for autistic people and their families Published in May 2021.

⇨ View the resource

Number of people with learning disability or autistic people living in mental health inpatient settings rated "Requires Improvement" or "Inadequate"
NHS England has written to Jeremy Hunt MP, Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee to disclose the number of people with learning disabilities or autism who are in poorly rated mental health inpatient settings.

The recent data showed 77% people with learning disabilities or autism were in units rated Good or Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission however, 175 people (9% of the total) were in units rated “inadequate”, and a further 285 people were in units rated “requires improvement” (14 %). This makes a total of 23% of people in poorly performing settings.

⇨ Find out more
Involving people in climate change
Zack's Story is a short stop-motion animation that United Response created with the help of people they support to highlight the issues of climate change. There is behind the scenes information available too.

⇨ Read Zack’s story
PMLD Link Journal
PMLD LINK was established to make a difference to the lives of children and adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD). They have published their latest edition of their Journal for everyone supporting people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, on the theme of Training and Development.

⇨ Access the journal
National Eye Health Week: 20 to 26 September 2021 
Compared to their non-disabled peers, adults with a learning disability are 10 times more likely to have sight problems and children are 28 times more likely. Unfortunately, these sight problems don’t get the right support.

SeeAbility, 2021 Charity of the Year, supports the needs of people with learning disabilities and autism, many of whom have sight problems. They have a dedicated Eye Care and Vision team, with Eye Care Champions in London and North West England.

Among the Champions there is lived experience of a learning disability, autism, sight loss and eye care issues together with experience of providing advice, support and information, advocacy, learning disability nursing, residential care, commissioning and managing provider services. They can deliver online (and possibly face to face) training for all these groups, as well as family carers, schools and colleges, university students, eye care professionals and others.

The Champions also respond to individual and local enquiries, signpost to appropriate services or clinicians and help people to navigate the Eye Care world.

Visit the SeeAbility website for more information and resources. Alternatively, you can email Wayne Chapman or call 07840 639998 for more information.
Learning about advocacy in health funded processes
NDTi and Kate Mercer Training have launched an online training hub to support Independent Advocates working alongside people going through health funded processes.

⇨ Find out more and book onto the sessions
 Events, learning and development 

GOLD Webinar: Health, LeDer and constipation
Wednesday 18 August 2021 | Time: 12.00 - 13.00
In this webinar Sarah Ormston (Dementia, Health and Wellbeing manager at MacIntyre) and Sarah Bruce (Lead Clinician Physiotherapist for Adults with Learning Disabilities at Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital), will speak to us about health, LeDeR and specifically focus on the management of constipation, including the use of abdominal massage.

⇨ Register for this event

UK PBS Alliance Webinar: Using talking mats to support involvement in PBS plans
Wednesday 1 September 2021 | Time: 12.00 - 13.00
In this webinar Jill Bradshaw (University of Kent), will discuss how we can support involvement in PBS plans through using talking mats.

⇨ Register for this event

Restraint Reduction Network Webinar: Blanket restrictions
Tuesday 14 September 2021 | Time: 12.00 - 13.00
In this webinar, Alexis Quinn (RRN manager, Autism campaigner and person with lived experience) will meaningfully discuss Blanket Restrictions and what can be done to address their use in our systems.

⇨ Register for this event

The PCPLD Network Annual Conference
Thursday 16 September 2021 | Time: 10.00 - 15.00
The PCPLD Network are holding their conference in September, entitled ‘Finding the gaps and closing the gaps: Dying, death, bereavement, COVID-19 and people with learning disabilities’.

The PCPLD Network is a charity formed in 1998 by a small group of learning disability and palliative care professionals. They were concerned by their experience that people with learning disabilities who were facing a life-limiting illness did not seem to access the same services or receive the same quality of service as the rest of the population.

⇨ Register for this event
 Get involved 

Care Certificate Consultation 2021
We would really appreciate input from the learning disability and autism part of the sector to make sure that your voices are heard in the review of the Care Certificate.

The Care Certificate was launched in April 2015, and since then thousands of health and social care workers have completed the standards. We want to ensure that the Care Certificate standards remain current and continue to reflect best practice. In partnership with Skills for Health and Health Education England, we’re inviting you to take part in a survey to consider potential updates to the Care Certificate standards.

The survey should take approximately 20 to 30 minutes to complete and will close at 12:00 on 16 August 2021.

⇨ Take the survey
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