Covid 19 - National Guidance

The Government and NHSE England have published a range of Covid 19 guidance and more is likely to come out. We will list on this page the guidance most relevant to families of children and adults with severe learning disabilities. 


We are working hard to interpret the practical implications of this guidance, including seeking answers to questions from Lawyers, NHSE and Government officials.  We will provide more information on this page as soon as we are able so please bear with us. In the meantime you may find some of the answers you need in the FAQs section of our Covid 19 page.














Learning Disability Covid-19 Guidance for Frontline Clinical Staff

A guide to help frontline clinical staff to best support patients with a learning disability and/or autism. Covers issues like diagnostic overshadowing, reasonable adjustments and understanding behavioural responses.

You can read the full guidance here


  Visiting Healthcare Inpatient Settings during the Covid-19 Pandemic

This Guidance replaces the June2020 NHS Hospital Visitor Guidance. The restriction on visiting has now been lifted. Visiting will now be decided by local trusts and NHS bodies.

  NICE Rapid Guideline on Critical Care during Covid-19

This outlines the processes for hospital staff in deciding whether a patient needs to be admitted to critical care. It was updated to reflect that the clinical frailty scale should not be used to assess those with a learning disability and/or autism. Full Guide and information on the update available here.

  Legal guidance for mental health, learning disability and autism, and specialised commissioning services supporting people of all ages during the coronavirus pandemic

See here

Section 2 on Key Messages may be particularly useful for families. 















Department for Education Covid-19 SEND Risk Assessment Guide

This guidance explains the risk assessments the government is advising local authorities to conduct to ensure that educational settings still providing services are safe. It gives particular notice to children with EHC plans whose need for hands on care or with behaviours that challenge. You can read the full guidance here.


Actions for Schools during the Coronavirus Outbreak

This guidance covers what schools should be doing during this time, and question 2.5 gives information on vulnerable children and those with an EHCP plan.


What Parents and Carers Need to Know about Education and Schools during the Coronavirus Outbreak

A set of questions answered for parents and carers, this list is not exclusive to learning disability and autism but contains some useful information on free school meals and EHCP plans. The full set of questions is available here.



An update from the Minister for Children and Families Vicky Ford around the COVID-19 outbreak and useful guidance and support, see the open letter here.

Minister Ford (Parliamentary Under–Secretary of State for Children and Families) has written to children and young people with SEND, their families and carers, and those who work to support them regarding the return to school.(2nd September 2020). 

See the letter here










Social Care


Guidance for Local Authorities on Easements to the Care Act during Covid-19

Guidance explaining to Local Authorities what they can and cannot do under the new easements.

Mencap have produced a summary and easy read version of the easements.




Ethical Framework for Adult Social Care

Linked within the Care Act easements guidance, this is the framework local authorities should uphold when making decisions. The full framework can be read here




DHSC Covid-19 Action Plan for Adult Social Care

This outlines the four principles the government are using to keep people safe during this time and the approaches that will be used in all settings and contexts in which adults receive social care. The full Action Plan is available here.




DHSC Mental Capacity Act and DoLS during Covid-19

This guidance explains the duties of hospitals, care homes and supervisory bodies during this time with particular respect to the MCA and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.




The Safe and Legal Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Mental Health and Learning Disability Services during Covid-19

This outlines how restraint should and might need to be used during this period. Please note that this guidance only applies to Northern Ireland.


Covid-19 Guidance for People Receiving Direct Payments

Information from DHSC for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support. Direct Payments and Personal Health Budget information available here.


Supporting People in Specialist Inpatient Settings

This guidance is for all professionals supporting individuals with a learning disability, autism, dementia or a mental health issue who are also unwell with coronavirus in in patient facilities. 















Frequently Asked Questions from DHSC and NHSEI

The Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England and Improvement publish answers to frequent questions from families and others during this period. We will post each instalment here as we receive them:

FAQs 15th May

FAQs 15th June 

FAQs 10th August 


Coronavirus Outbreak FAQs from the Cabinet Office: What you can and can’t do

The Cabinet Office have released a set of FAQs clarifying what you are and are not able to do under the new restrictions. Question 15 specifically relates to learning disability and autism and the ability to go out more than once.

Legal guidance for mental health, learning disability and autism, and specialised commissioning services supporting people of all ages during the coronavirus pandemic

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