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National guidance

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

Legal FAQs

We are working hard to interpret the practical implications of this COVID-19 guidance, including seeking answers to questions from lawyers, NHS England and Government officials.

Find COVID-19 guidance below on:

  1. Health
  2. Children
  3. Social care

Click on the titles below to view the resources. You can get a brief summary of each page by clicking on the downwards arrow.

Health

The most recent guidance is provided at the top of the list. Please note that some of the guidance may have been superseded since posting. To open the document click on the sub-heading. For further details, click on the downward arrow.

This guidance has been assessed to identify potential equality impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with mental health needs and a learning disability and autistic people.

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.

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.

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.

Children

The most recent guidance is provided at the top of the list. Please note that some of the guidance may have been superseded since posting. To open the document click on the sub-heading. For further details, click on the downward arrow.

On 24 June, Vicky Ford, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, published an open letter to leaders of special and alternative provision schools, outlining the support offered during the summer holidays. Funding will be available to provide meals, activities and summer schools. The holiday activities and food programme will have free places for children eligible for free school meals, and local authorities can expand the reach of the programme to subsidise places for other vulnerable children.

On the 5th March 2021, Vicky Ford Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families wrote an open letter to children and young people with SEND and those who support and care for them to highlight key information about returning to full attendance at school and college.

Email from Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Division regarding COVID-19 testing programmes in schools and colleges from the start of 2021.

On the 9th November, Vicky Ford MP Minister for Children and Families wrote an open letter to children and young people with SEND and those who support and care for them to clarify some of the key issues related to the new national restrictions.

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.

This guidance is for schools during the national lockdown period.

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.

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).

Support to Children and Families letter from Ruth May and Viv Bennett

Social care

The most recent guidance is provided at the top of the list. Please note that some of the guidance may have been superseded since posting. To open the document click on the sub-heading. For further details, click on the downward arrow.

Anyone working in a CQC-registered care home in England for residents requiring nursing or personal care must have 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine unless they have a medical exemption. This will apply to all workers employed directly by the care home or care home provider, those employed by an agency, volunteers, and those coming into care homes to do other work, for example healthcare workers, tradespeople, hairdressers, and CQC inspectors, unless they have a medical exemption. Visiting family and friends are exempt from the requirement to be double vaccinated.

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

Mencap have created some information and advice on the changes to the Care Act during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Linked within the Care Act easements guidance, this is the framework local authorities should uphold when making decisions.

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 Legal FAQs section of our COVID-19 resources page.

Legal FAQs

More on COVID-19

Our resources

Our resources

These pages contain our own information sheets on challenging behaviour during the pandemic, as well as information on health and hygiene, visiting relatives, education and school, activities to do at home, FAQs about the law, templates and much more.

Other organisations

Other organisations

There is a lot of new information from different groups working hard during this pandemic. We have collated some resources from other organisations in one place.

Rights and the law

Rights and the law

Our factsheets, FAQS and templates give valuable information about you and your family members’ legal rights.