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Adult Disabilities & Mental Health

Introduction

Utilise the Adult Disability and Mental Health members zone area to tap in to a wide variety of resources and guidance to help you to best care for the individuals you support. These resources have been created and sourced in conjunction with local specialists and national guidance. Find contact details and links to local support services in Hertfordshire.

Hertfordshire County Council has support for individuals and professionals

» Click here to find out more about support and contact details for HCC

Professional resources and support: This page is for health professionals and provides links and information on how you can access resources specific to Hertfordshire and the Hertfordshire learning disability community nurses support. The resources are available to help you, as health professionals, bridge the health inequality gaps faced by people with a learning disability as well as providing information on how you can apply and strive to become recognised as a health service of excellence for people with learning disabilities, through the Purple Star Strategy.

» Click here to view the professional resources and support

Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation NHS Foundation Trust

» Click here for details or services and support

 

Other useful resources

Learning Disability England Hub for resources & info for people with learning disabilities during COVID-19 Click here
Books Beyond Words – free resources for people with learning disabilities Click here
COVID-19 booster easy read information Click here
HCC – Guide to making information Easy Read Click here
How and why to get a COVID-19 booster easy read powerpoint Click here
The LPS and care providers – Mental capacity law and policy video Click here

 

Guidance

Master logo NICE White

NICE have created guidance to help support Care Professionals who care for those with learning disabilities and mental health:

Violent and Aggressive behaviours in people with mental health problems This quality standard covers short-term prevention and management of violent and physically threatening behaviour among adults, children and young people with a mental health problem. It applies to settings where mental health, health and social care services are provided. This includes community settings and care received at home. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement. » Click here for guidance
Transition between inpatient mental health settings and community or care home settings This quality standard covers transitions for children, young people and adults between mental health hospitals and their own homes, care homes or other community settings. It includes the period before, during and after a person is admitted to, and discharged from, a mental health hospital. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement. » Click here for guidance
Learning disabilities and behaviour that challenges: service and delivery This guideline covers services for children, young people and adults with a learning disability (or autism and a learning disability) and behaviour that challenges. It aims to promote a lifelong approach to supporting people and their families and carers, focusing on prevention and early intervention and minimising inpatient admissions. » Click here for guidance
Care and support of people growing older with learning disabilities This guideline covers care and support for adults with learning disabilities as they grow older. It covers identifying changing needs, planning for the future, and delivering services including health, social care and housing. It aims to support people to access the services they need as they get older. » Click here for guidance

 

Education for Learning Disabilities and Autism

Learning Disabilities and Autism Core Capabilities

Many autistic people or those with learning disabilities at one time, or another, face a battle to get the right information, support and care. In 2019 Health Education England and NHS England published the ‘Core Capabilities’ framework for supporting these people. These frameworks describe what is required for supporting those with learning disabilities and/or autistic people in a range of settings, from those who need a basic understanding of autism/learning disabilities, to the skills, knowledge and behaviours required of those who are experts and lead services for autistic people and/or those with learning disabilities.


Framework for supporting Autistic people

The framework describes capabilities i.e. the attributes (skills, knowledge and behaviours) which people bring to their work. It is comprised of 19 capabilities, which are grouped into 5 domains. Within the capabilities, there are 3 tiers, each for a particular ‘target audience’.

The Framework should be of particular value to:

  • Managers in organisations/individual employers
  • Service commissioners
  • Education and training providers

The 5 Domains:

Domain A – Understanding Autism This part is about what autism is and how it affects autistic people. It also contains information people need to know if their job is to tell if people are autistic.
Domain B – Personalised Support

This part is about how to support and care autistic people properly and is the most important part for care professionals and support workers.

Domain C – Physical and Mental Health

This part is about autistic people’s health needs. It is the most important part for doctors and other people whose jobs are to do with health.

Domain D – Risk, Legislation and Safeguarding

This part is about the law and autistic people’s human rights

Domain E – Leadership and Management, Education and Research

This part is for people who run organisations that autistic people use, people who run training about autism and people who do research about autism.

 

Scope of the framework

Not everyone will need to know everything within the 5 domains but any team or service should cover them all which is why he capabilities described in the framework are defined at 3 tiers:

  • Tier 1 – People who require a general understanding of autism and the support autistic people may need.
  • Tier 2 – People with responsibility for providing care and support for an autistic person or people, but who could seek support from others for complex management or complex decision-making.
  • Tier 3 – Health, social care and other professionals with a high degree of autonomy, able to provide care and support in complex situations and/or may also lead services for autistic people.

» Click here for the full framework
» Click here for an easy read of the framework


Framework for supporting people with Learning Disabilities

The framework describes capabilities i.e. the attributes (skills, knowledge and behaviours) which people bring to their work. It is comprised of 25 capabilities, which are grouped into 5 domains. Within the capabilities, there are 3 tiers, each for a particular ‘target audience’.

The Framework should be of particular value to:

  • Managers in organisations/individual employers
  • Service commissioners
  • Education and training providers

The 5 Domains:

Domain A – Understanding Learning Disability This part is about what learning disabilities are and how they affect people with learning disabilities. It also includes information staff need to know if their job is to see if people have a learning disability.
Domain B – Health and Wellbeing

This part is about the health needs of people with learning disabilities. It is the most important part for doctors and other staff whose jobs are to do with health.

Domain C – Personalised Care and Support

This part is about making sure people with learning disabilities get good care and the support they need. It is the most important part for care staff and support workers.

Domain D – Risk, Legislation and Safeguarding

This part is about the law and the human rights of people with learning disabilities.

Domain E – Leadership and Management, Education and Research

This part is for people who run organisations that people with learning disabilities use, people who run training about learning disabilities, and people who do research about learning disabilities.

Scope of the framework

Not everyone will need to know everything within the 5 domains but any team or service should cover them all which is why he capabilities described in the framework are defined at 3 tiers:

  • Tier 1 – People who require a general understanding of autism and the support autistic people may need.
  • Tier 2 – People with responsibility for providing care and support for an autistic person or people, but who could seek support from others for complex management or complex decision-making.
  • Tier 3 – Health, social care and other professionals with a high degree of autonomy, able to provide care and support in complex situations and/or may also lead services for autistic people.

» Click here for the full framework
» Click here for an easy read of the framework


 Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training

The aim of the Oliver McGowan mandatory training is to ensure that staff working in health and social care receive learning disability and autism training, at the right level for their role. They will have a better understanding of people’s needs, resulting in better services and improved health and wellbeing outcomes.

This training is named after Oliver McGowan, whose death highlighted the need for health and social care staff to have better training in learning disabilities and autism.

» Click here to find out more
» Click here to watch the video of Oliver’s story


 

Skills for Care Workforce update

Keep up to date with the latest news, resources, events and funding opportunities from Skills for Care, specifically for adult social care services that support people with a learning disability and/or autistic people.

» Click here to view the workforce update

Education for Mental Health

The Mental Health Core Skills Education and Training Framework

The ‘Mental Health Core Skills Education and Training Framework’ outlines the skills and knowledge that staff that work in mental health services need. Mental health services may be offered in a broad variety of settings including an individual’s own home, community settings, residential homes and acute hospitals. In addition, support staff and other individuals outside the health and care sectors (e.g. justice, education, housing and employment) may interact with those affected by mental health issues and therefore need to have an awareness and understanding of mental health issues.

The core skills and knowledge described in the framework are therefore defined for 3 tiers:

  • Tier 1 – People that require general mental health awareness.
  • Tier 2 – Staff that will have some regular contact with a person/s who is experiencing a mental health problem.
  • Tier 3 – Staff who support someone who may experience a mental health problem.

 

Summary of Framework subjects and the relevant target audience

The Framework is presented is 18 subjects  Within each subject, the learning outcomes are presented for relevant tiers. The learning outcomes are intended to provide a clear focus on what a learner should know,understand or be able to do following completion of any learning activity.

The 18 Subjects:

1) Mental Health Awareness 2) Establishing positive relationships with individuals who have mental health problems
3) Promoting general health and wellbeing for individuals with a mental health problem 4) Promoting mental health and preventing mental illness
5) Self-harm and suicide: Understanding and prevention  6) Enabling a recovery focused approach to mental health
7) Coaching conversations in supporting recovery in mental health 8) Families, carers and friends as partners in promoting positive mental health
9) Supporting children and young people with mental health problems 10) Supporting children, young people and adults with a learning disability and a mental health problem
11) Mental health identification and assessment 12) Biopsychosocial formulation in mental health
13) Appropriate and effective use of medication in mental health care 14) Using technology to promote positive mental health and deliver effective support 
15) Equality, diversity and inclusion in mental health 16) Law, ethics and safeguarding in the context of mental health
17) Research and evidence-based practice in mental health 18) Leadership in transforming mental health service

The subjects are numbered (1 to 18) for ease of reference. This does not indicate a prescribed process or subject hierarchy; relevant subjects can be selected from the framework as required.

» Click here for the full framework

LeDer National Report and Learning

What is LeDeR?

The Learning Disabilities Mortality Review programme, also known as LeDeR, is the first national programme of its kind aimed at making improvements to the lives of people with learning disabilities. It was set up to drive improvement in the quality of health and social care service delivery for people with learning disabilities. It does this by looking at why people with learning disabilities typically die much earlier than average.

The Purple All-Stars have put together an informative video all about LeDer and equality for those with learning disabilities.

What is a LeDer review?

In a LeDeR review someone who is trained to carry out reviews (usually someone who is clinical or has a social work background), looks at the person’s life and circumstances that led up to their death and from the information makes recommendations to the local commissioning system about changes that could be made locally to help improve services for similar people. They also look at GP, social care and hospital records (if relevant) and speak to family members about the person that has died to find out more about them and their life experiences.

Health Education England  – film about Cayden

Health Education England have shared a video about a man called Cayden who became unwell. The film highlights barriers people with a learning disability face to accessing health services and how the assumptions and attitudes of professionals can seriously impact on care care and treatment outcomes.

This video particularly focuses on the role of the person supporting someone with a learning disability in a healthcare setting, and how important it is for health professionals to listen to those who know the person well.

» Click here to watch the video

New National LeDeR Policy

The new LeDeR policy aims to set out for the first time for the NHS the core aims and values of the LeDeR programme and the expectations placed on different parts of the health and social care system in delivering the programme from June 2021. It will serve as a guide to professionals working in all parts of health and social care system on their roles in delivering LeDeR. In the past, the University of Bristol were involved in running LeDeR but now that contract has ended the NHS have taken over responsibility and have created a new policy to ensure LeDeR makes a difference in the future.

The new policy will help anybody in health or social care who has anything to do with LeDeR this includes:

  • NHS staff
  • Social care staff
  • Council staff
  • Voluntary organisations

» Click here to view the policy
» Click here for an easy read of the policy 

The NHS have put together some LeDeR Action plans based on the recent reports:

LeDeR Action from learning report 2020/21 Click here
LeDeR Action from learning report Easy Read 2020/21 Click here
LeDeR Action from learning case studies Click here
LeDeR Action from learning helpful resources Click here
HCPA LeDer webinar recording 12th October 2021 Click here
HCPA LeDer webinar Powerpoint slides Click here
HCC LD My Health resources Click here
Skills for Health Core Capability Framework Click here

 

Publication of LeDeR report and Action from Learning Report

Bristol University

The University of Bristol’s fifth annual LeDeR report was published 10 June 2021. From this they identified 10 areas of improvement:

1) Leader Reviews to be taken under through the lens of greater racial awareness.
2) The new Integrated Care Systems must pay attention to the needs of children and adults from minority ethnic groups living in their local area.
3) A nationally endorsed standard resource is required, with local flexibility, that provides information for people with learning disabilities and their families about their legal rights and entitlements, national services available and how to access them, and local sources of support.
4) There needs to be better partnership-working with local communities, particularly ethnic communities.
5) Local areas must develop long terms plans that show how they will meet the needs of people with learning disabilities that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown are a problem.
6) From the start of any future public health emergency, such as COVID-19, the needs of people with learning disabilities must be considered.
7) NHS11 services must provide training to NHS11 staff about how to respond appropriately to calls about people with learning disabilities or from people with learning disabilities in their families.
8) A LeDeR representative should always be involved with the child death review meeting/process for children with learning disabilities.
9) NHS England to collect and collate more information about the needs and circumstances of people who have been subject to mental health or criminal justice restrictions and use this to inform appropriate, personalised service provision for this group of people.
10) Progress on actions in response to previous recommendations about minimising the risk of aspiration pneumonia in people with learning disabilities needs to be published.

» Read the annual report here
» Read the easy read annual report here

Hertfordshire Annual LeDeR report

This report presents information about the deaths of people with a learning disability living in Hertfordshire aged 4 years and over notified to the LeDeR programme from 1st April 2017 – 31st March 2021. The report begins by setting out the local and national context of the LeDeR programme and describes key aspects of the local delivery. Demographic and quality of care data is presented, followed by a description of how Hertfordshire is implementing actions from learning.

» Read the full report here

Annual Health Checks

New Learning Disability Annual Health Check Preparation Tool

GP surgeries in Herts are being encouraged to request that this is completed and returned before annual health checks are booked for people with learning disabilities. This is because reducing the risk of delays in diagnosis is something that needs to be a collaboration ALL YEAR ROUND between the person, the people that help them on a day to day basis and the GP surgery.

Do your care staff and the people they support know:

  • What colour a healthy wee should be?
  • What a healthy poo should look like?
  • How to keep an eye on changes in breasts?
  • How to keep an eye on changes in testicles?
  • To keep an eye on moles for changes?

The annual health check prep tool points you to all the tools you need to ensure staff and people they support can, to the best of their ability, be health changes aware and get help early. It also ensures the surgery can complete all the standard information BEFORE the appointment and keep the appointment shorter and focussed on the bits that need to be talked about.

» Click here to download the Annual Health Check Preparation Tool
» Click here for more information on learning disabilities and health
» Click here for the bitesize session recording for care staff on Annual Health Checks

ANNUAL HEALTH CHECK REMINDER! – If you support someone with a learning disability then please check the date of their last annual health check and contact their Surgery to get booked in if it has been longer than a year since their last one. Click here to read more.

 Screening inequalities 

Screening inequalities exist among people with learning disabilities and/or autistic people and they are therefore less likely to access screening. However, in a drive to tackle health inequalities for people with a learning disability, the NHS set out a Long Term Plan with the ambition that by 2023/24, at least 75% of people aged 14 and over on the learning disability register receive an annual health check. The latest data shows that the NHS has already hit this target two years ahead of schedule with three quarters of people with a learning disability aged 14 and over having received an annual health check (at the same time as treating hundreds of thousands of patients with COVID-19).

» Read more about the NHS annual health check long term plan
» View Pauline Heslop ‘Screening people with learning disabilities – what do we know?’ presentation here
» Find out more about the PHE Screening inequalities strategy

» Click here to download the Annual Health Check Preparation Tool

Increasing the update of Annual Health Checks

 

 

NHS England and the NHS Improvement South West have created a new suite of videos to assist healthcare professionals to increase the uptake of annual health checks for people with learning disabilities. The suite of videos also has a focus for carers and families who care for people with learning disabilities who may want to learn more about the process.

» Click here for the video on an introduction to annual health checks for people with a learning disability for carers and family
» Click here for the video on oral health checks for people with a learning disability
» Click here for the video on an introduction to annual health checks for people with a learning disability
» Click here for the video on health action plans to support people with a learning disability 

» Click here for Powerpoint slides from the webinar ‘Annual Health checks for people with Learning Disabilities’ – 17th March 2022

Schizophrenia

A new drug for the treatment of schizophrenia could soon be available in the European Union (EU) after the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use adopted a positive opinion recommending marketing authorisation in the EU for Trevicta (paliperidone palmitate, a 3-monthly injection).

If approved, this 3-monthly injection will allow patients to maintain an optimal level of treatment in their blood with fewer administrations, compared to currently available antipsychotic treatments, and therefore may improve outcomes for patients. A 1-monthly formulation of paliperidone palmitate (Xeplion) is already approved for the maintenance treatment of schizophrenia in Europe.

“As paliperidone palmitate 3-monthly injection offers the opportunity for fewer injections per year, it has the potential to offer eligible patients greater Fully Fundeddom and the opportunity to focus less on taking their medication and more on getting and staying well.” said Dr Andreas Schreiner, European Therapeutic Area Leader, Neuroscience and Pain at pharmaceutical firm Janssen, which has developed the treatment.

“The extended dosing interval compared with current treatments may also reduce the risk of relapse for a patient population in whom adherence to antipsychotic medication can be a major factor in the success of their treatment. We anticipate the EMA’s final decision in the coming months and hope that it will allow Janssen to provide patients with a valuable new treatment option for schizophrenia.”

The European filing of an Extension Marketing Authorisation Application for Trevicta is based on two Phase 3 studies. The first was a randomised, multi-centre, double-blind, placebo-controlled relapse prevention study in more than 500 patients with schizophrenia. The second was a randomised, double-blind clinical trial comparing the efficacy and safety of paliperidone palmitate 3-monthly and 1-monthly formulations. Paliperidone palmitate 3-monthly injection was found to be at least as effective in preventing relapse as the paliperidone palmitate 1-monthly formulation and was not associated with any new or unexpected safety signals.

As with all medications, some patients may experience side effects. The most frequently observed adverse drug reactions reported in ≥ 5% of patients in the two double-blind controlled clinical trials were: increased weight, upper respiratory tract infection, anxiety, headache, insomnia and injection site reaction.

» More information and news on mental health can be found here

STOMP

What is STOMP?

STOMP stands for Stopping Over Medication of People with a learning disability, autism, or both with psychotropic medicines. The overall goal is to help people stay well and improve their quality of life.

What are Psychotropic medicines?

Psychotropic medicines affect how the brain works and include medicines for psychosis, depression, anxiety, sleep problems and epilepsy. At times they are also given to people because their behaviour is seen as challenging.

People with a learning disability and/or autistic people are more likely to be given these medicines when compared to others. Although these medicines are right for some people and can help them stay safe and well, sometimes there are other ways of helping which involve less medicine or none at all.

Public Health England says that every day about 30,000 to 35,00 adults with a learning disability are taking psychotropic medicines, when they do not have the health conditions the medicines are for.

What are the side effects?

Psychotropic medicines can cause problems if people take them for too long. Or take too high a dose. Or take them for the wrong reason. This can cause side effects like:

  • Putting on weight
  • Feeling tired or ‘drugged up’
  • Serious problems with physical health

 

Hertfordshire County Council

HCC have s STOMP team who are working with GP’s across the county to support reductions of medication for people with a learning disability who do not need them.

If you would like to speak to the STOMP nurses in the learning disability nursing service in HCC, please e-mail Jessica.shingler@hertfordshire.gov.uk

 

Useful Resources

NHS STOMP information and guidance Click here
NHS STOMP Easy Read Click here

 

Supported Employment

Step2Skills

 

 

Supported Employment helps people with learning, physical or sensory disabilities or autism find and stay in work. We were formerly called Work Solutions.

Wondering how Supported Employment can help someone you know who has a disability, sensory needs or autism in Hertfordshire? It’s thanks to businesses across Hertfordshire like Tesco Ltd. who offer work tasters and more. The Step2Skills team will give you the help you need to find a job, apply for it and support you when when you get it, for as long as needed. Their expert team will support you to develop the skills to feel confident applying for a job and going to work.

If you would like to work with the Step4Skills team or you would like some help from them, please visit their website here or contact Ruth Chumbley at ruth.chumbley@hertfordshire.gov.uk

 

Restraint Standards

Restraint, segregation and seclusion review: CQC’s Progress report publishes

CQC recently published a progress report following up on the Out of Sign report published in March 2020. This report looks at the use of restraint, seclusion and segregation in care services for people with a mental health condition, a learning disability or autistic people.

Since the Out of Sign report published in March 2020 none of the recommendations have been fully achieved, Therefore more action is required to ensure people with a learning disability, autistic people and people with mental ill health get the right care at the right time.

Click here to read the report

Positive Behaviour Support (PBS)

Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) is a ‘person centred framework’ for providing long-term support to children and adults with learning disabilities, autism, or dementia, who have, or may be at the risk of displaying distressing behaviours. PBS helps adult social care professionals, including managers understand the reason for the behaviour so they can better meet people’s needs, enhance their quality of life, and reduce the likelihood that the behaviour will happen.

The bild have created a short introductory video about PBS. Watch it here.

There are 4 main reasons someone may start to present behaviour which challenges:

  1. Attention – could be positive or negative.
  2. Escape – they are trying to avoid something.
  3. Sensory stimulation – they like the feeling of the behaviour.
  4. Tangibles – they desire a social reaction.

Positive Behaviour Support framework

The framework is divided into three main areas, each of which details specific competencies that need to be achieved to deliver effective support. These are:

Area Reason for area
Creating high care and support environments Aims to ensure organisations and those providing support operate from a person-centred support. Person-centred support ensures a high quality of life for all concerned, which includes assessing the risk factors for the development and maintenance of behaviour that challenges.
Functional, contextual, and skills-based assessment Aims to ensure that the support outlined for each person is based on a thorough understanding of that person’s needs, preferences, abilities, communication style, the function for them of any behaviour that challenges and how this is maintained, and the context and resources in which and with such support may be given.
Developing and implementing a Behavioural Support Plan (BSP) Aims to provide a detailed and personalised description of how best to support each person with developmental disabilities and their behaviours of concern.

 

All the competencies listed are necessary for the person being supported. However, not all competencies will need to be demonstrated by every individual involved in the provision of care. While there are certain core competencies which will be applicable to everyone, there are also specialist competencies which will be the focus of experts within that area.

For this reason, the framework details three levels of competencies by function which can be identified in the diagram below.

 

» Click here to view full details about the framework.

HCC have advice, research and resources relating to Positive Behavioural Support for professionals, citizens and individuals, providers, families, and carers on their website.

» Visit the HCC PBS website link here.

 

 

 

Training should be certified by the Restraint Reduction Network

From April 2021, it is expected to see all services across Health and Social Care use training in restrictive practices that is certified as complying with the Restraint Reduction Network Standards. The standards apply to all training that has a restrictive intervention component and provides a benchmark for training in supporting people who are distressed in education, health and social care settings. The standards apply across child and adult services, and to all populations, including people using services with mental health conditions, those living with dementia, people with a learning disability and autistic people.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, CQC acknowledge that the face-to-face training required to comply with these standards is not always possible. However, since April 2020 any training provider that wants to supply training should be certified by the Restraint Reduction Network. CQC expect providers of services to commission training accordingly.

CQC have published the final report in their review of restraint, seclusion and segregation.

This report describes what they found about the experiences of care for children, young people and adults who are subject to restrictive practices.

» Click here to read and find out more

 

Document Name  Description  Link
CQC Guidelines for PBS  Brief description on PBS and the support for people with behaviours that challenge. Click here
Find the Reasons for Challenging Behaviour: Part 2 info sheet Information about what may lead to challenging behaviour and the different stages. Click here 
Positive Behaviour Support Planning: part 3 info sheet Practical tool to support family carers to understand how to reduce the behaviour that challenges. Click here 
Positive and Proactive Care: Reducing the need for Restrictive Interventions Guide prepared by the Department of Health focusing on PBS and restrictive interventions. Click here 
Physical Restraint Information on physical restraint and when it is appropriate to use. Click here 
Glossary of Terms A document that explains commonly used terms associated with PBS. Click here 
10 Things you can do to support a person with Difficult Behaviours List of ideas for uncovering the real things that a person may need so that you can be more supportive with their challenging behaviour. Click here 
Support Worker Competence Checklist A checklist for you to record and demonstrate your competence in delivering PBS. Click here 
Positive and Proactive Support Plan This plan should be implemented alongside a risk management plan. Click here 
Observational Checklist Provides practical tools for those observing or inspecting services which provide PBS. Click here 
Behaviour Support Planning Audit Tools Questionnaire to help evaluate where the service is now and prompt action planning. Click here 
Scatter Plot Assessment Tool Tool to help discover patterns related to the behaviour and specific time periods. Click here 
Antecedent Behaviour Consequence (ABC Analysis Chart) An ABC recording is a way of collecting information to help determine the function of a person’s behaviour. Click here 

 

Posture Friends

In 2018, the Learning Disability Mortality Review (LeDeR) found that early mortality amounted to people dying between 20 and 30 years younger than the general population, and this highlighted a shocking health inequality. The review revealed that the most common cause of death was a respiratory infection, which is more commonly known as a chest infection.

This emerging information has sparked the realisation about something that has been known in Therapy settings for a long time, and that is: poor postural alignment can have severe and life-threatening consequences. This is because, for people who have limited mobility, difficulty breathing, and therefore risk of developing a respiratory infection, is often a result of poor postural alignment.

Posture Friends will support staff in residential settings to take an enabling care approach with all the individuals they support. There is now overwhelming evidence that people with a Learning Disability in England are dying prematurely, and that these deaths are potentially avoidable!

» Click here to find out more about Posture Friends 

Weight Management

Obesity is a serious health concern that increases the risk of many other health conditions, including Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, joint problems, mental health problems, and some cancers. There is also evidence to suggest that people living with obesity are at higher risk of the more severe outcomes associated with COVID-19.

The resources below can help support Weight Management:

WW Patient information Leaflet Click here
WW Poster Click here
NHS Digital Weight Management Programme poster Click here
NHS Digital Weight Management Programme leaflet A4 folded to A5 Click here
NHS Digital Weight Management Programme – FAQs Click here
NHS Digital Weight Management Programme – GP Toolkit Click here
WMS Press Notice Click here

 

New Autism Strategy

The new Autism strategy builds on and replaces the preceding adult autism strategy – Think Autism, which was published in 2014 and related to adults. This new strategy extends to children and young people for the first time, in recognition of the importance of ensuring that they are diagnosed and receive the right support as early as possible and throughout their lifetime.

The strategy has taken into account the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on autistic people and their families. The research identified that the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened challenges many autistic people already faced, such as loneliness and social isolation, and anxiety. However, at the same time the research also showed the benefits of lockdowns for some autistic people, who have been better able to engage in virtual spaces, have felt less societal pressure and have been able to avoid anxiety-inducing activities like using public transport.

The strategy has 6 main areas of improvement:

  1. Improving understanding and acceptance of autism within society
  2. Improving autistic children and young people’s access to education, and supporting positive transitions in adulthood
  3. Supporting more autistic people into employment
  4. Tackling health and care inequalities for autistic people
  5. Building the right support in the community and supporting people in inpatient care
  6. Improving support within the criminal and youth justice system

 

Useful Resources

The National Strategy for autistic children, young people and adults: 2021 to 2026 (PDF) Click here
Autism strategy implementation plan: 2021 to 2022 (Annex A) Click here
The National Strategy for autistic children, young people and adults: 2021 to 2026 – easy read Click here

 

My Purple Folder

What is My Purple Folder?

My Purple Folder is a health passport that is offered to adults with learning disabilities living in Hertfordshire.

Good use of the Purple Folder can reduce the risk of delays in Diagnosis due to communication barriers or reluctance to accept investigations or treatment. It should be used by ALL health services in Herts when a patient attends an appointment with one. If someone with a learning disability says they do not have one, all health services should encourage them to get one.

How do I order a My Purple Folder?

At the moment you can order new folders and inserts via the Purple Folder phone line – 01438 843848 (Internal: 53848) or via e-mail to the health liaison team: healthliaisonteam.referrals@hertfordshire.gov.uk

Click here for more information about My Purple Folder
Click here for a guide for carers on filling out My Purple Folder
Click here for an easy-read leaflet about My Purple Folder
Click here for the full printable handbook

Resources and Easy Reads

Learning Disability England Hub for resources & info for people with learning disabilities during COVID-19 Click here
Books Beyond Words – free resources for people with learning disabilities Click here
HCC Learning Disability Resources and Support Click here
NHS Easy Read newsletter about lung cancer, smoking, healthy eating and the NHS app Click here

 

Additional Resources



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