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 make sure staff working in all health and social care services receive learning disability and autism training, at the right level for their role. They’ll have a better understanding of people’s needs, resulting in better services and improved health and wellbeing outcomes.

Below are some of the comments made from the public forum in August which looked at co-production in the programme:
“Love how people with Learning Disability and Autism are heavily involved in this work. This is how it should be – people with lived experience brings it to life”
“This is marvellous! Co-production all the way, makes for a much richer and meaningful outcome”
“Amazing example of co-production and beautiful stories told here today”
“Love your examples. . .. It is good to hear from Autistic people who have had similar experiences”
“Thank you for such a fantastic session today. I think it’s going to be a really valuable piece of work”

The next public forum is on 1 December 2021 and is open for registrations until 19 November 2021.

⇨ Register now

BILD - Training in learning disabilities and autism for all health and social care staff

There's an opportunity to do the trial version of the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training from a partnership led by BILD between September and November 2021. When you've completed your tier 1 training you can begin your tier 2 training. There will be the opportunity to complete the tier 2 training face to face in a classroom.

⇨ Find out more and register for the training

Workforce development fund (WDF) and individual employer funding launched – 2021/22 
Funds are open to adult social care employers in England to support the development of their staff at all levels.

Provides enhanced funding for leadership and management qualifications, learning programmes, digital learning modules and can support Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Certification.
  • to apply you need to submit a declaration form before Monday 28 February 2022
  • claims must be submitted to Skills for Care by Thursday 31 March 2022.
⇨ Find out more

The Individual Employer funding
Can be used for training to develop you as an employer and the skills of your personal assistant (PA). The finding can cover the direct costs of training and qualifications, travel and the cost of hiring replacement support whilst your usual PA is attending training.
  • applications need to be submitted by Monday 28 February 2022
  • training funded must be started by Thursday 31 March 2022.
⇨ Find out more
⇨ Find out about other available funding

Launch of Social Care Day of Remembrance and Reflection
Skills for Care has announced the launch of Social Care Day of Remembrance and Reflection in collaboration with 20 other organisations across the social care sector, with backing from the Department of Health and Social Care and Minister of State for Social Care Helen Whately. The day will be held in March 2022, with an exact date to be announced.

The purpose of this day is to celebrate the work and dedication of social care workers through the pandemic, and remember those social care workers who sadly lost their lives. A ‘Thank You Wall’ and ‘Memorial Wall’ have been created on The Care Workers’ Charity website where people can share thank you messages and tributes to those social care workers who’ve had a positive impact on them or their communities, and those who we’ve sadly lost.

On the day itself we’re encouraging as many people as possible to take part and mark the day, with suggested activities including a minute’s silence, planting a memorial tree, or having a coffee morning.

You can keep up-to-date with the build-up to the day on social media using #RememberSocialCare.

⇨ Find out more
 Guidance from the Government, 
 NHS and key stakeholders 

Updated government COVID-19 guidance relating to the support of adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults
COVID-19: providing unpaid care to adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults
This guidance assists people with caring responsibilities to help those in their care understand the changes needed to protect their own wellbeing and that of others. Updated 24 August 2021.
⇨ View the guidance

COVID-19: Supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults
This guidance for care staff and personal assistants who are supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults and addresses the same areas mentioned above. Updated 24 August 2021.
⇨ View the guidance
Shaping future support: The health and disability green paper
The government has published this green (consultation) paper and it’s about how the welfare system can better meet the needs of disabled people.

⇨ Read the green paper
⇨ Easy read version 

Learning Disability England want to help members have their say, complete the ‘consultation response template’ form the website and email them to let them know what you think This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 11 October 2021.
Supporting Autistic people flourishing at home; Considering and meeting the sensory needs of autistic people in housing
The Local Government Association with NDTi are sharing a report that has been co-produced with autistic people that looks at people living well in their own home and beyond and they plan to put together some webinars in the Autumn to go through the report’s findings.

⇨ View the report and sensory video

Meeting the healthcare needs of adults with a learning disability and autistic adults in prison
NHS England have published guidance (15 September 2021) for healthcare commissioners, providers and staff operating within the adult prison estate to assist them with the planning and delivery of healthcare for adults with a learning disability and autistic people in prison.

The guidance is designed to support the implementation of the national prison healthcare service specifications and other relevant national strategies and standards. It also provides helpful background information and resources for prison healthcare commissioners and providers.

⇨ View the guidance

Home for good: successful community support for people with a learning disability, mental health need and autistic people
This report from CQC includes eight stories of individuals who had previously been admitted to ATUs that are now being successfully supported in their community and highlights the common success factors:

  • services must be bespoke and truly person centred
  • agencies should work in partnership
  • appropriate housing and environments are a prerequisite
  • behaviour should be understood as a form of communication
  • family involvement in all aspects of service planning and delivery increases the chances of good outcomes.
⇨ View the report

CQC provider collaboration review: Care for people with a learning disability living in the community during the pandemic
This report looks at what we have found through our provider collaboration review about the care for people with a learning disability who live in the community. Key findings on the following topics:
  • additional support, including new digital support
  • how systems worked together
  • multi-agency/multi-disciplinary working
  • communication and information sharing
  • shared learning
  • support for staff
  • health inequalities.
⇨ Find out more
 News from the sector  

No Barriers and Dudley Voices have made a film about end of life planning
They hope that the film can be used to challenge misconceptions around talking about death and dying with people with learning disabilities.

⇨ Watch the film
‘Tricky Friends’ a short animation 
Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board has launched ‘Tricky Friends’ a three minute animation developed to help people with learning disabilities and autistic people to understand what good friendships are, when friends might be harmful, and what to do.

⇨ Find out more
New PBS Network – Norfolk
Norfolk County Council launched a new PBS Network for the area in September, following free PBS training to support providers train their staff along with partners in commissioning, social workers and quality assurance teams to name a few.PBS UK will be delivering the training and attended the network meetings, where there is opportunity to discuss how each organisation is implementing PBS, explore case studies and discuss what extra support you might need.

Advocacy Awareness Week
The theme of the 4th annual Advocacy Awareness Week year is #AdvocacyinAction, and takes place 1 – 7 November 2021. The aim is to remind people about what advocacy is, how it works best and how it has already helped people in our communities to live their lives.

⇨ Find out more
NDTi Podcasts - Talking Inclusion
Episode 1 - What does inclusion mean post lockdown? I ⇨ View
Episode 2 - Ryan's Story - A life beyond day activities I ⇨ View
Episode 3 - What it takes to be a leader for social inclusion in our communities and public systems I ⇨ View
The role of an intermediary in family and criminal proceedings
This podcast looks at the role of an intermediary and how it’s important in any work with families, but particularly with court cases. The role of an intermediary is to assist with communication difficulties. An intermediary does not provide emotional support nor answer questions of behalf of a witness.

⇨ Find out more
Coronavirus and people with learning disabilities study 
Further results are available from the three wave year long study about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with learning disabilities and what makes for better outcomes. Wave two data was collected between April and May 2021 and almost 600 adults with learning disabilities were interviewed by researchers.

Family carers or paid support staff took part in an online survey about the experiences of 273 adults with learning disabilities who they supported/cared for, these were likely to be adults with more severe to profound learning disabilities.

⇨ Read wave two report
⇨ Easy read version
⇨ Read wave one report
Resident-to-resident harm in care homes and other residential settings: A scoping review
This report from Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) aims to explore resident-to-resident harm in care homes, also referred to as resident-to-resident abuse. However, there is an important distinction to be made between harm and abuse as abuse occurs within relationships where there is the expectation of trust. That expectation cannot be applied to the relationship between residents. Having highlighted this key distinction, this report reflects the literature and so refers to resident-to-resident abuse (RRA) throughout.

⇨ Read the report
LASB Adult Safeguarding Board MCA assessment guidance toolkit
Lancashire Adult Safeguarding Board (LASB) have just launched an MCA assessment guidance toolkit. These are a range of guidance tools to support the practicalities of MCA assessment in some of the most common (and often challenging) scenarios.The guides have been influenced by Essex Chambers and had multi agency input from LASB Learning Disability and Dementia colleagues.

⇨ View the toolkit
 Events, learning and development 

Open University and SFC Webinar for supervisors and managers – Supporting people with learning disabilities to use everyday technology: an introduction to a new toolkit
Thursday 4 November 2021 | 14:00 - 15:30
Many of us know the importance of being able to use technologies such as smartphones, tablets, WhatsApp and Zoom to keep connected with our friends and family and complete everyday online life tasks.Some people who work in social care, helping people with learning disabilities have found this a challenge and many have realised they need help to develop their skills, knowledge and confidence in this area. Jane Seale from the Open University will show us a new free toolkit for those who manage services, supervise carers and support staff.The toolkit has been co-produced with SeeAbility and does four key things that managers might find helpful:
  • Offers a framework for understanding what is needed in order to provide good support for people with learning disabilities to access and use technologies. This framework makes it clear that supporting people with learning disabilities involves more than just basic ICT skills.
  • Provides advice and guidance on activities for managers to try out.
  • Offers a range of case studies and examples of good support in practice.
  • Offers links to a wide range of learning disability specific online resources, many of which have been developed by self-advocacy groups.
Using examples from the toolkit Jane will explain how managers can use it in their own practice. We will discuss whether and how this toolkit addresses an unmet need and what other complementary resources are available to help managers improve the support offered to people with learning disabilities who want to use everyday technologies in their everyday lives.

⇨ Register for this event

A similar free webinar for support workers and direct carers will be hosted by Learning Disability England on 19 October 2021 at 10:00.
⇨ Find out more and book here

The 'Feeling at Home' project: Research and Policy Round-up on "homeliness" as a quality indicator in residential care for people with learning disabilities
Tuesday 2 November 2021 | 11:00 – 13:00
The 'Feeling at Home' project has been funded by NIHR School for Social Care Research to explore with people with learning disabilities living in group homes with staff support what helps or gets in the way of them 'feeling at home' where they live.

In this seminar research team members will present findings from research and policy that throws light on this important topic

⇨ Register for this event

Using technology to include and involve people to have better outcomes for everyone
Friday 5 November 2021 | 10:30 – 12:30
Last year we’ve all learnt how advances in technology have helped us all to connect with each other in a more human way than it has in the past. This conference will highlight the good things but also look at how we can get a balance of old and new as we move forward into a more settled way of life. It will cover a range of topics including ‘Tips to support people when using online platforms Toolkit’ which was commissioned by Skills For Care and Coproduced by ACE Anglia Leading Lives and Dimensions.

⇨ Register for this event
 Get involved 

Developing a falls management tool for adults with intellectual disabilities in community settings
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS trust are inviting people to take part in a one-off interview to explore your views on the management of falls for adults with intellectual disabilities and on the first draft of a falls management tool. The interview will take place remotely or at a location convenient for you and will last no longer than an hour.

If you’re interested, please contact Nicola Lidstone – Clinical Researcher by Friday 31 December 2021.
Email (preferred contact):
Phone: 0115 8230947

Do you care for someone with a learning disability? We need your help

Skills for Care have been asked by the Department of Health and Social Care to develop some guidance specifically for commissioners of support or care for people with a learning disability.

We’re looking for your feedback on this guidance to make sure it’s fit for purpose and covers all the right areas to support commissioners. We’re holding two focus groups for people who care for someone with a learning disability. They’ll take place online using a video call (Zoom or Skype) on the following dates:
  • 19 October 2021, 15:30 – 16.30
  • 20 October 2021, 14:00 – 15:00
If you’d like to attend, please email with your preferred time and date and we’ll email you the joining details. You can join using your smart phone, tablet, or computer.
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