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, and you can find previous newsletters here.
 News from Skills for Care 

Individual employer funding  
Personal assistant (PA) jobs make up over 27% of the specialist jobs which support autistic people and/or people with a learning disability.

There are just weeks left for individual employers to apply for funding to support their own training as employers and/or their PAs. Our website tells you how to apply and what kind of activities the funding can be used for.

Visit the individual employer funding page which has a short information video, guidance, links to the application form and some FAQs.
  • Closing date for applications is Sunday 28 February 2021.
  • Training funded must be started by Wednesday 31 March 2021.

Commissioning services for people with learning disabilities and/or autism  
When support is commissioned well, it can make a significant difference to someone’s’ life.

Skills for Care developed the Level 5 Commissioning for Wellbeing qualification to support the learning and development needs of people who commission social care services. Throughout 2020 Skills for Care, in partnership with Bespoke Consultancy Education, has been delivering a pilot of the qualification with a focus on the needs of people who have a learning disability and/or are autistic, in the South West.

This opportunity is now available across the whole of England and open for expressions of interest. Find out more.
 Events, learning and development 

The Oliver McGowan mandatory training in learning disabilities and autism - stakeholder forum online event via Zoom
Friday 12 February 2021, 10:00 - 12:00
This is the second in a series of stakeholder forums which will look to provide regular updates and invite contributions from both health and social care, to further inform you of the work being done.

⇨ Book your place.

⇨ Find out more about the project.

Following the first forum key messages and Q&A have been added to the information about this project.

Restraint Reduction Network Training Standards mini-series
The 1 April 2021 will mark two years since the launch of the Restraint Reduction Network (RRN) Training Standards. From this date the CQC will expect all services across health and social care to only use training in restrictive practices that is certified as complying with the Restraint Reduction Network Training Standards.

To mark this, and help you practically comply with the standards, the RRN are running a mini-series of webinars.

Wednesday 31 March 2021, 12:00 - 13:00
An introduction to the Restraint Reduction Network Training Standards, with Sarah Leitch
⇨ Register here

Thursday 1 April 2021, 10:00 - 11:00
The Certification Scheme: how it works, with Glyn Connolly and Iris Benson
⇨ Register here

Thursday 1 April 2021, 14:00 - 15:00
Using the standards in inspections, presenter TBC

Tuesday 6 April 2021, 10:00 -11:00
Meeting the RRN standards: developing a practical action plan, presenter TBC

Tuesday 6 April 2021, 14:00 - 15:00
Towards safer services, with Keith Reid
⇨ Register here

If you’d like to receive information about the RRN webinar programmes, sign up to the mailing list here.

Training for carers to spot signs that someone may be unwell
The RESTORE2 mini-tool highlights the importance of ‘soft signs’ of deterioration. These are the changes that may only be noticeable to people who know someone well. The tool provides guidance on how to get the right support and share critical information in an emergency. It’s hoped it will help address the high mortality rates of people with learning disabilities, which have been highlighted during the Covid-19 pandemic.*

The tool has easy-to-use resources developed in collaboration with people with learning disabilities and autistic people. The tool can be used in people’s homes, wherever they live.NHS England / NHS Improvement (NHSE/I) has been making training** about the tool available to care workers and family carers, to help them identify and respond to the deteriorating health of someone they care for. They are currently preparing 120 ‘super trainers’ to roll out RESTORE2 mini training to 5,000 carers and care workers.

If you want to be a ‘super trainer ‘and can commit to delivering training to 50 care workers before the end of March, there are courses taking place up to 18 February. Check availability.

*This pilot is part of the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) Programme, committed to improving access to good quality care and support find out more about the LEDER programme here.

**The training is based on the RESTORE2 deterioration and escalation tool, developed by West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Wessex Patient Safety Collaborative and Wessex Academic Health Science Network, for use in residential care settings. Find out more here.

Positive Behaviour Support Certificate
Applications are open for the April 2021 cohort of BILD’s positive behaviour support (PBS) qualifications.
These include Positive Behaviour Support Certificate Level 4 and Practice Leadership in Positive Behaviour Support Level 5.
Qualifications are completed online, with self-directed activities (e.g. webinars, films, reading, interactive activities), and practice-based activities (assessments) with regular tutorial groups sessions to support the learning journey.

Applications close on Monday 5 April, and the programme starts on Monday 19 April.
⇨ Find out more about the Certificate and how to apply.
⇨ Find more information about the Diploma and how to apply.

BILD webinars
BILD are offering webinars on a range of topics. Some are free to members, and some open to the public including They want to hear from you about topics that you think are important for their April GOLD round table event to discuss ageing well for people with learning disabilities. Please make your suggestions here.

Pathway fund for learning disability and autism
This fund offers a revised mechanism for funds to flow from inpatient settings to community-based support, as from April 2021. Local authorities will be active partners at a TCP level in how this works.

NHSE/I are running two webinars to introduce the guidance about this. DASSs may wish to attend themselves or send senior level commissioning and/or finance managers to ensure that they can plan ahead for implementation.

The proposed dates are:
  • Tuesday 16 February 2021, 11:00 - 12:00
  • Monday 22 February 2021, 10:00 - 11:00
The sessions will be hosted on MS Teams. Anyone interested in joining one of the sessions should email with their preferred session and ‘Pathway Fund Q&A Sessions’ as the title, and the team will forward an invitation.

Learning Disability England annual conference 2021
One Year On - Staying Strong, Getting Stronger
This conference will be online and will take place on 9 - 11 March 2021.
More details here.
 Guidance from the Government, 
  NHS and key stakeholders 

Vaccines for frontline workers 
The workforce supporting people with a learning disability and autistic people are frontline health and social care workers and are included in phase 1 of the vaccine rollout and cohort number 2 on the priority list.

Read the standard operating procedure (SOP) for the roll out of the vaccine to these workers.
Local authorities (with employers and local partners) will identify and inform eligible workers about the vaccine. Employers should proactively contact their local authority to ensure eligible staff are identified.

National Mental Capacity Forum Webinar: The MCA and COVID vaccinations in care homes
The online webinar, slides and FAQs are now available here.

Testing service for extra care and supported living
From 9 December 2020, the government made regular COVID-19 testing available for people in supported living and extra care settings.

This will help to identify people who have COVID-19 so they can self-isolate and help to check the spread of the disease.

Find out more on the government’s website.

COVID-19 guidance for supported living
Core messages of the guidance include advice on assisting with planning and preparation to minimise infection risk and provide the best possible support to people in supported living settings.

The guidance also sets out safe systems of working, including social distancing, respiratory and hand hygiene and enhanced cleaning, and how infection prevention and control (IPC) and personal protective equipment (PPE) applies to supported living settings.

Read the guidance here (updated 22 January 2021)

Legal guidance for services supporting people of all ages during the coronavirus pandemic
This guidance is about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the use of the Mental Health Act (MHA) and supporting systems to safeguard the legal rights of people receiving mental health, learning disability and autism services, including specialised commissioned services.

It considers potential equality impacts of COVID-19 on people with mental health needs and learning disabilities and/or autism, as these individuals may require reasonable adjustments if they contract COVID-19.
⇨ See the guidance.

Using direct payments during the coronavirus outbreak: full guidance for people receiving direct payments and personal assistants
This guidance sets out key messages to support people employing personal assistants in planning and receiving their care and support safely during the pandemic, including slowing the transmission of COVID-19 and reducing the possibility of hospital admission or care breaking down.See the guidance (18 November 2020).

Be prepared and pack a hospital bag today
If someone you care for becomes unwell with COVID-19, their condition may deteriorate rapidly. If they are admitted to hospital in an emergency, it’s unlikely you will be able to go with them. So, be one step ahead and prepare a hospital bag for them so that, in an emergency, it’s ready to go in the ambulance with them. Make sure their name is clearly marked on the bag.

Pack the essentials that will help them to be as comfortable as possible while they are in hospital. You can buy additional items now, such as non-perishable foods if the person has special dietary requirements. If there are items that can only go in at the last minute, (e.g. mobile phone, list of medications), attach a note to the bag so they could be added on the day.

What you may want to pack
  • Any hospital paperwork and list of medications
  • Advanced care plan
  • Bed wear: pyjamas/ nightdress, dressing gown, slippers/flipflops
  • Changes of underwear: pants, bras, vests, socks
  • Wash bag with small quantities of essential toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste/denture cleaner, comb/hairbrush, soap, towel, hair ties, shampoo, lip balm, moisturiser, period products, deodorant and shaver or shaving gear.
  • Spare continence products if needed
  • Eye mask, ear plugs, noise cancelling headphones
  • Change of outer clothes: trousers, shoes, top, cardigan
  • Communication: phone and charger, list of contacts, glasses, hearing aid (and batteries), container. Communication aids e.g. Makaton symbols, objects of reference.
  • Printed photos of important things in the person’s life to aid communication, watch / calendar / small clock.
  • Preferred /dietary- specific food/snacks and drinks
  • Things for entertainment - books, magazines, music player, headphones
  • Preferred food, snacks and drinks
  • Pillow / scarf   
COVID-19 can make you ill very fast. You may want to prepare a bag for yourself, in case you get ill, too.

Current lockdown restrictions
The North West Training and Development Team Board have created a video showing what you can and can't do during the current lockdown (January 2021)
⇨ You can watch the video here.

NHS population screening: access for all
Guidance and resources to help reduce inequalities in population screening by ensuring that all eligible people have access is now available.

Benefits of an annual health check reducing likelihood of emergency hospital admission
Research has found that learning disability health checks help to address key health needs and lowered the chances of emergency hospital admission.
⇨ Read the findings (full results paywalled).
 News from the sector  

Learning Disability England’s open letter to Matt Hancock
In this letter of 16 November 2020, Learning Disability England asked Matt Hancock to prioritise people with learning disabilities in the government’s COVID-19 response and implement the recommendations of the Social Care Taskforce’s Learning Disability Advisory Group urgently.
⇨ You can read the full letter here.

They have also written a template letter that you can send to your local MP
⇨ Download the template here.
⇨ Download the easy read template here.
COVID-19: deaths of people with learning disabilities 
PHE have published the latest ‘COVID-19: deaths of people with learning disabilities’ report. It finds that the estimated rate of deaths due to COVID-19 was 3.6 times the rate in the general population (after adjustments for under-reporting). On average, people with learning disabilities were also dying younger from COVID-19 than the general population.

Social Care Minister Helen Whately has announced a review of the findings by the government's scientific advisory group, Sage.Read the full report and easy read version here.
Report on Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) decision making
Learning Disability England resources have been updated and include the findings from the British Institute of Human Rights’ report 'Scared, Angry, Discriminatory, Out of my Control: DNAR Decision-Making in 2020'.

Read the BIHR report and easy read version.

The psychological trauma suffered by family carers of children and adults with autism and/or learning disabilities and the support required 
This report looks at the availability and effectiveness of trauma support for family carers of children and adults with learning disabilities and/or autistic people. The findings from the survey provided evidence that the current system is dramatically failing families and that too often their interaction with 'the system' and services adds to, or is the cause of, trauma and its devastating impact.

⇨ Read the full report.

You can also view a presentation on this research by Viv Cooper from the Challenging Behaviour Foundation.

Free helpline for families and carers
BILD are running a free helpline for families and carers to support them with COVID-19 restrictions, funded by Health Education England. A helpline webpage and free resources, including short videos, which seek to answer frequently asked questions will be available soon. Find out more.
CQC provider collaboration reviews 
When health and social care systems aren’t joined up, it means our careservices aren’t able to respond as well to difficult challenges such as theCOVID-19 pandemic.
CQC will be looking at how services work together in our health and social caresystems to support people with learning disabilities. CQC will be working with a number of learning disability sites that are part of Integrated Care Systems to:
  • share examples of working well together and learning wherethere are issues· support health and social care services respond together to
  • support people with learning disabilities
  • drive better experiences and outcomes for people with learningDisabilities
  • help inform how the system should work across services andencourage improvement.  

⇨ Find out more about the reviews.
PMLD Link Winter 2020 issue
The Winter 2020 issue marks 10 years since Professor Jim Mansell’s seminal Raising Our Sights report. This edition looks back over the past 10 years, and reflections since that time. Other articles share practice and ideas, including some on the COVID-19 pandemic and the creative ways in which people have adapted support and activities during this time.

⇨ Read the latest issue.

Learning disability liaison nurse review 
Health Education England has published its report and recommendations about learning disability liaison nursing.

Read the full report and easy-read version.

Evaluating specialist autism teams' provision of care and support for autistic adults without learning disabilities: the SHAPE mixed-methods study 
This study identified how different specialist autism teams operating in alternative organisational settings, found some evidence of benefit and made recommendations for further evaluation.
⇨ Health Services and Delivery Research 8, 48, December 2020
 Get involved in in research and policy 
How the coronavirus pandemic has changed the lives of people with learning disabilities in the UK 
Learning Disability England, working with researchers from 12 universities, are looking for people with a learning disability to take part in this research. The researchers know that people with learning disabilities know best about the right changes to make life better.
Contact or phone 0300 111 0444 to get involved.

The National Strategy for Disabled People 
The Prime Minister committed to delivering an ambitious National Strategy for Disabled People. This will transform British society by improving opportunities and outcomes for disabled people. It will be built on improved data and evidence, engagement with disabled people and insight from lived experiences.

A key focus will be on practical action that will make a tangible difference to disabled people’s day-to-day lives.

You can complete a survey which will inform the draft strategy. It closes on 23 April 2021.

Reforming the Mental Health Act consultation
The Government has published Reforming the Mental Health Act white paper which proposes a wide range of changes to rebalance the Act, to put people at the centre of decisions about their own care and ensure everyone is treated equally. In a statement to Parliament, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said the reforms also aim to tackle the racial disparities in mental health services, better meet the needs of people with learning disabilities and autism and ensure appropriate care for people with serious mental illness within the criminal justice system.

The Government would like to hear your views on the proposals and has published a full range of consultation documents. The consultation closes on 21 April 2021.
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