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 

Get involved with the PBS (positive behavioral support) Training Peer Review Pilot  
Though our pilot project to quality assure training we have developed and tested a peer review process for PBS trainers. During the project a range of learning providers and assessment organisations have been working with care and support organisations from statutory, private and voluntary organisations. Trainers review each other’s practice, offer feedback and share ideas for improvement. These peer reviews can now be carried out virtually and we are looking for more learning providers to get involved.

Sign up for one of these webinars later this month to find out more about how you can be a reviewer or have your training reviewed;
Tuesday 17 November, 2.30 - 3.30
⇨ Book now


Thursday 26 November, 2.30 - 3.30
⇨ Book now

If you aren’t able to make these please email to arrange to view a recording and have a 1:1 briefing.

‘Right support, right care and right culture’ - CQC revised guidance for regulated services
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has updated the guidance for organisations which provide regulated support for autistic people and/or people with a learning disability. In response to feedback from people who use services the new guidance is intended to be clearer and with a stronger focus on outcomes and quality of life: with the emphasis on choice and control, dignity and the culture and values of staff the guidance ensures that safeguarding human rights is central to providing good care and support.

⇨ View the guidance

Out of Sight - who cares? The Care Quality Commission (CQC) review of restraint, seclusion and segregation in care report
This report looks at the use of restrictive practices with autistic people and / or people with a learning disability and /or mental health condition. The report includes accounts from people who have experienced restrictive practices; it considers hospital- and community-based services and identifies issues for commissioners.

There are 17 recommendations for change covering workforce issues for ministers, commissioners, regulators, direct staff. Recommendation 7 links to many other skills and capabilities requirements including the Oliver McGowan mandatory training, the restraint reduction network, understanding human rights and values based recruitment.

⇨ Download the report

Changing guidance from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) 
NICE would like to hear views on whether or not to update the guideline CG142: Autism spectrum disorder in adults: diagnosis and management Work with NICE guideline.

If you would like to comment on this please visit the NICE website consultation page before 5pm on 6th November 2020. This review has considered 3 NICE guidelines on the theme of Autism and all guidelines will be having a separate stakeholder consultation. If you are a NICE stakeholder you can comment on the proposals for one or all of the guidelines.

Keeping safe from coronavirus: new guidance for adults who have Down’s syndrome
From Monday 2 November 2020, adults (18 and over) who have Down’s syndrome are to be added to the group of people who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable. This means that they have been classed as at higher risk from coronavirus. The decision has been agreed across all four nations of the UK by their Chief Medical Officers.

People who are in the clinically extremely vulnerable group are advised to be extra careful in protecting themselves. In England GPs have been asked to contact their patients who are affected by this decision over the next few weeks to discuss what it means for them and their specific health needs. Adults who have Down’s syndrome and their families and supporter services are encouraged to seek advice if they do not hear from their GPs in the next few weeks.

Information about what it means to be on the clinically extremely vulnerable list can be found on the government website.

⇨ Downs Syndrome Association latest COVID 19 news
 News from the sector  

Ordinary and unique lives for adults with a learning disability and / or autism; a six step approach
Oxford Brookes University has written a paper which offers a whole system model of care as the evidence-based framework to describe the support services need to promote good outcomes for adults with learning disability and or autism.

This paper sets out good practice in the approach to commissioning services for people with learning disabilities and/or autism. It is aimed at commissioners, working primarily within health and social care settings, who are responsible for the strategic design and development of local services for people with learning disabilities and/or autism and their families and whose role involves driving innovation and practice change.

Examples and suggested objectives and performance indicators in this paper provide an informative and helpful stimulus for commissioners to explore their current arrangements and to describe the future direction and aspirations for the ordinary and unique lives for adults with a learning disability and/or autism in their communities.

⇨ Read the paper
Government delivers 250,000 clear facemasks 
250,000 clear face masks have been delivered for NHS and social care workers to support better care for people who use lip reading and facial expressions to communicate. Providers will have access to the masks through a pilot system with Local Resilience Forums.

⇨ Find out more 
How and where the ClearMask can be used in the adult social care sector 
The ClearMask has a clear front, making the mouth and face visible to facilitate communication with people who rely on lip-reading and use facial expression to support communication. The ClearMask provides splash protection for the wearer in the same way that a type IIR face mask does.

However, since the product has not been tested by regulators in the same way as a type IIR or type II surgical face mask, to show protection from the wearer to the person receiving care, social care providers must risk assess the appropriate use of the product.

The ClearMask should not be used:
  • where there is excessive splashing or spraying of bodily fluids (as potential splash-back from the impervious front);
  • as an alternative to a filtering face-piece respirator, which is worn to protect the worker during aerosol generating procedures; or
  • for surgical/invasive procedures.
⇨ Find out more about prevention control

The ClearMask is a single use product, not intended for reuse. It should be used and disposed in accordance to the manufacturer’s instructions.

⇨ Read the user manual

The ClearMask not currently CE marked but has been approved by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for use during the COVID-19 pandemic under the essential technical specification guidance.

⇨ Read the guidance

Upon reviewing the ClearMask product documentation and assessing the intended use of the ClearMask against the essential health and safety requirements of the EU PPE regulation, the HSE has approved the availability of the ClearMask via LRFs for use in social care settings as an item of PPE to protect the wearer.

Learning disability register  
We know that people with a learning disability often have difficulties and face inequalities in getting the health services they need. The learning disability register is a record of people with a learning disability who are registered with each GP practice.

When someone with a learning disability is on the register it means that:
  • the GP practice knows what reasonable adjustments a person might need and is able to make those adjustments before someone needs to use a health service
  • they will be invited for an annual health check from the age of 14 onwards
  • they will be invited for a free flu vaccination
  • there should be better transition planning for young people with a learning disability who are leaving school or college and approaching adulthood. If children and young people are on the register support and adjustments can be put in place before they transition
It is never too early (or too late) to join your GP’s learning disability register; people can join at any age. If people are not sure if they are already on the register, they can ask at their GP surgery.
 Get involved in research 
The following Surveys are available which you or the people and families you support may wish to participate in. 

The ACCEPT (Autism Core Capabilities Repository) project 
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) are working with Health Education England on a national project to identify and share a range of approaches to support health, social care and public facing workforces across England to use the Core Capability Framework for Supporting Autistic People (2019).
including creating a training directory to bring together various autism training initiatives across the UK that link to the

There are various ways you can get involved:
National Survey
To improve #autism training for health, social care and public facing staff. Please share your experience through this survey which will take approximately 15-25 minutes to complete. You will be entered into a prize draw to win one of 20 vouchers worth £25.

Interviews/ focus group
They want to hear from you about your experience of #autism training! Please contact them to take part in a focus group or interview and receive a £10 voucher!

Find out more about the project or contact:
Hannah Iannelli (Research Assistant) @maudsleylearn

What services work really well for older people with learning disabilities and behavior that challenges? 
Can you help? Are your services, or others you know of potential examples of what works?

This nationally project is looking for examples of services that provide really excellent support. We are interested in how they tailor the support that helps people whose family can no longer provide care at home to move out of the family home to other forms of living, for those whose behaviour sometimes challenges others. This could be day services that support people to stay at home, supported living or residential care for people with early dementia and frailty in people with learning disabilities. There could be great examples of supported living such as Shared Lives, residential care and end of life care providers. They also want to hear about services to support people moving out of specialist long stay hospitals and assessment and treatment units.

They are running a survey and speaking to people. They are interested in hearing from care providers and families in England before the end of December 2020.

⇨ Find out more
⇨ View the survey
For more information contact Louise Wallace @OlderAhead

University of Cambridge Contraception decision making and people with learning disabilities survey
This survey forms part of Wellcome's Mental Health and Justice Initiative and it’s been reviewed by the Cambridge Psychology Research Ethics Committee. The aim is to find out more about the experiences of people supporting adults with learning disabilities to make decisions about contraception.

Many people with learning disabilities use contraception, but very little is known about how contraception decisions are made. This survey is part of a project examining if and how people are supported to make this decision. Who they would like to hear from:  
  • People aged 16 +
  • You’ve been involved in the lives of adults with learning disabilities (aged 16 years or more) within the last 5 years. This can be as part of your work OR home life
  • Your experience has been based in England or Wales
Please note - you don’t need to have been involved in the contraception decisions of adults with learning disabilities before to take part.

To take part in the survey and to find out more information click here.

Stigma – how people with learning disability respond to being treated unfairly
The University College London (UCL) Unit for Stigma Research is conducting a study investigating how people with learning disabilities respond to being treated unfairly by others. They want to hear from adults with mild to moderate learning disabilities to participate virtually in a pilot study.

⇨ Find out more

Learning Disability England (LD England) – Pass-it-Online Mental Health training 
Wednesday 30 September 2020, 14:00 - 16:00 

Research suggests that more than 40% of people with learning disabilities have issues with their mental health and The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities has been working with Learning Disability England to deliver a range of workshops addressing this area.

The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities (part of London South Bank University) developed the Pass-it-on project, a workshop-based project all about mental health specifically for people with learning disabilities.

Funding has made sure that they can pay the trainers with learning disabilities to deliver these workshop sessions as well as making sure workshop sessions are available across the country.

The workshop sessions look at what mental health is, the five ways to wellbeing and making plans. They focus on all the practical things we can do to stay happy and healthy. The workshops have been designed to be led by people with learning disabilities supported by a worker.

If you would like to find out more about Pass-it-Online, please email LD England or them on 0300 111 0444.

Upholding rights and valuing voices: Advocacy principles for coronavirus and beyond
Since March 2020, the way independent advocacy support is being delivered has had to change, similar to how other services also had to change how they work.The operating principles in the guide seek to make sure people who use social care and health services during and beyond the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic are heard and listened to. It will be of most use to advocates and advocacy organisations but will be also relevant to people who use advocacy services and their family members, to Disabled People’s Organisations, to social care and health professionals, and to those who commission advocacy services.

⇨ Download the guidance.

Resources for maternity services and parents
The Together Project, which supports good practice in maternity services for parents with learning disabilities, has developed a toolkit to help professions to provide good support to parents with a learning disability and a maternity passport to help parents get great care before and after their baby is born.

You can download these resources from the website which also provides more information about the Together Project.

Know Your Rights Webinar from the British Association for Social Work (BASW)
This webinar provides information for individuals and families, as well as social workers, about the rights of autistic people, identifying what can go wrong and what can be done to prevent individuals and families reaching crisis point.

⇨ View the webinar

Stopping Flu - an easy read guide 
It’s that time of year when we need to be thinking about the impact of flu on the people we support. Speak Up have produced an accessible guide to help people to think how to avoid the potentially harmful symptoms of ‘flu and information about vaccinations.

⇨ Find out more.

They have also made Two short films on flu vaccinations. The first is for carers of people with a learning disability about the importance of vaccinating themselves and the people they care for. The second is about vaccinating people with a learning disability and autistic people with certain health conditions. Both cover why it is important, who is eligible for a free vaccine, where you can get the vaccine and reasonable adjustments.

For care workers…. there is also a great 5 minute film from social care partners in Nottinghamshire to help dispel the myths about flu jabs and encourage take up: watch it here.

STOMP/STAMP online medication pathway
The Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF) have produced this resource as part of the NHS programme for Stopping the Over-Medication of People with a learning disability, autism or both (STOMP). This practical resource has been developed with and for families of people with learning disabilities, autism or both who are prescribed or may be prescribed psychotropic medication.
The online resource is here.

The CBF are also able to send hard copies of the medication pathway pack to you.The medication pathway packs contains:
  • A printed copy of the medication pathway 
  • A #thinkSTOMP/STAMP prompt card to use every time you have contact with a child, young person or adult with a learning disability and or autism, their family and professionals who are part of their care and support. 
  • A feedback form   
 For a paper copy of the STOMP/STAMP resource pack please email with a postal address.


PBS Europe Online International Conference  
TThe 1st virtual PBS-Europe conference will take place from November 9-13th, 2020, and will include various activities including a virtual school visit, masterclasses and a research symposium. The event is co-facilitated by PBS-Europe Network colleagues and the UK PBS Alliance Network (hosted by Bild), who are both accredited networks under the Association of Positive Behavior Support, with European education institution partners. The UK PBS Alliance are facilitating a stream that represents PBS in practice in health and social care, with members Dr Anne MacDonald, Professor Edwin Jones and Sarah Leitch hosting 3 workshops. 

⇨ Find out more

Finding the words: assessing distress and discomfort in people with difficulty communicating
Delivered by the Palliative Care for People with Learning Disabilities Network10 November 2020
How do you know when someone is distressed, and how can you assess whether they are in pain or discomfort, if they cannot tell you about it?This session will be of interest for anyone supporting people with learning disabilities through illness and changing health needs.

The Oliver McGowan mandatory training in learning disability and autism stakeholder forum
This webinar will take place in early December to keep all stakeholders informed and up to date; and hear from the sector about the issues arising from the trial.

Self advocates and user led groups, campaigners, health and social care employers and self-advocacy groups which support autistic people and people with a learning disability, training providers to these services, commissioners of these services are all welcome to join.

If you have previously registered your interest with us in this work then you will shortly receive an email invite, if not please email stating that you wish to be invited and keep informed about the trial in the future.
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