Latest coronavirus news

3 April

Public Health England (PHE) have published an easy read document that explains the rights of people who have a learning disability, autism or both and how they should be treated by medical staff during the the coronavirus pandemic.


We will be hosting a Facebook event this Sunday 11am-12pm to share ideas on staying happy and healthy at home.

This is an event for adults who have Down’s syndrome and parents/carers. It will take place in our Adults closed group: The DSA Supporting Adults and Parents and Practitioners Group.

We want to know what you have been doing to stay happy and healthy at home.

Please come with

  • pictures of activities you’ve been doing or meals you’ve cooked
  • projects you’re working
  • ideas of things to stay busy

It is important that we keep talking to each other at the moment, and sharing ideas on how to stay positive and motivated.

It’s going to be a lot of fun and we will all get ideas of things to do at home.

To join in please just enter the group at 11am.

If you’re not a member yet, click here or search The DSA Supporting Adults and Parents and Practitioners Group on Facebook.

When you find the group, click the Join Group button.

You will have to answer three questions.

  1. Are you over 18 years old?
  2. Are you a person who has Down Syndrome, or a parent, carer or practitioner supporting an adult who has Down Syndrome?
  3. If a practitioner, what is your professional role?

If you need support, you can ask someone to help you answer these questions.


31 March 

We have added some tips from our Information and Training team on developing language skills at mealtimes to the Learning at home page.


Our Keeping fit and healthy at home page has been updated with some more films from our DSActive team…there are lots of ideas for exercises and activities to do at home.


The National Trading Standards’ Friends Against Scams site have shared this infographic of potential scams to watch out for at this time.



27 March

We have updated our information about the benefits and financial help available.

It includes information about yesterday’s announcement of support for people who are self-employed. The Chancellor set out plans that will see the self-employed receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least 3 months. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-gives-support-to-millions-of-self-employed-individuals 

Click here to read all the information or download the updated document.


While most people with Down’s syndrome are unlikely to be admitted to hospital for complications arising from coronavirus, we think it is best to be prepared in the event that your loved one is admitted to hospital at short notice.

We have put together some suggestions together to help you to think about it. Click here to download the factsheet on the image to the right.

 

 


26 March

NICE have now updated their COVID-19 rapid guideline: critical care in adults guidance. You can read their statement here.

In particular we would like to draw your attention to the following paragraph in the actual guidance.

‘On 25 March 2020, we amended recommendations 1.1, 2.2 and 2.4 to clarify that the Clinical Frailty Scale should be used as part of a holistic assessment, but should not be used for younger people, people with stable long-term disabilities, learning disabilities or autism We also changed the title of the guideline to clarify that it only applies to adults’.


We have updated our information about the benefits and financial help available. It now includes information for WorkFit candidates.

Click here to read all the information or download the updated document.


We’ve also updated our easy read document on social distancing to reflect the latest advice. Click here to download the latest copy.


We’ve just published the second document adapted from our forthcoming Emotional well-being series.

Supporting young people and adults through times of change
For parents, carers and supporters

We are all living with change and a certain degree of uncertainty at the moment.

We know that sameness and predictability can help people with Down’s syndrome to feel secure and in control. However, many people’s daily lives and routines have recently been, or will be, disrupted.

We thought it would help you as parents, carers and supporters to put together some ideas that may help you to support people who have Down’s syndrome at this time of change.

You can download the publication here or by clicking on the image on the right.


Vinay, who is one of our colleagues, has got some top tips for exercising at home that we’re re-sharing for everyone in lockdown.

Read his blog post here.


25 March

We have written to the Health Secretary Matt Hancock and asked for reassurance and clarification for our members. For people worried about how the NICE guidance about critical care interventions may be interpreted for their loved ones who have Down’s syndrome, please see the following information. The final paragraph states the scale has ‘not been widely validated in younger populations (below 65 years of age), or in those with a learning disability’. We will keep you updated with any replies we receive.


Our specialist adviser in adult social care and support, Chris Watson, has written a briefing on the Coronavirus Bill and what it may mean for adult support and social care. You can download the briefing document (pdf) here or read the information online here.


Kate Powell, who edits our Down2Earth Magazine, has blogged about what she’s up to while she’s at home because of the coronavirus lockdown. Read her blog here.


We’ve updated our ‘..at home’ pages.

There are new links to resources for learning, and a new page with ideas for fun and relaxing things to do.


24 March

We have updated our information about the benefits and financial help available.

The Government have just announced extra help, in addition to help already available, for those facing hardship:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-confirms-500-million-hardship-fund-will-provide-council-tax-relief-for-vulnerable-households

Click here to read all the information or download the updated document.


We’ve just published a short resource for parents, carers and supporters.

A reminder to look after ourselves
For parents, carers and supporters.

This short document has been adapted from our forthcoming Emotional well-being series.

The document’s key message is: be kind to yourself…if you don’t look after yourself, it can make it harder to support someone else’s emotional well-being.

You can download the publication here or by clicking on the image to the right.

We’ve included it in the Resources from the DSA page.

 

 

23 March

Everything that the Down’s Syndrome Association stands for promotes equality of access for individuals who have Down’s syndrome. Nowhere is this more important than in access to healthcare.

Children and adults with Down’s syndrome have unique and valued lives and should, of course, enjoy the same protection of their Human Rights as everyone else. Families must be fully involved in decisions relating to their relative with Down’s syndrome.

We urge everyone across the community to work together in these unprecedented  times to ensure that our NHS and individual clinicians have all the support they need to treat patients to the very best of their ability and preserve the lives of anyone affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic, including our loved ones with Down’s syndrome.

If you have any evidence of discrimination please email us at info@downs-syndrome.org.uk.


We have updated our information about the benefits and financial help available.

It now includes information about an increase to Working Tax credits. The government has announced that Working Tax Credits payments will be increased by £20 per week from 6 April 2020.

Click here to read the updated information or download the document.

21 March

We have updated our information about the benefits and financial help available. Click here to read the information or download the document.

20 March

We have now published an easy read document that explains what social distancing means. You can download a copy of the document by clicking here.

We have also published information about the benefits and financial help that is available. This will be updated as information becomes available.

We are collecting together links to external resources that can be used during social distancing or self-isolation to help us keep healthy, keep on learning and help us relax and enjoy our time at home.

We would welcome recommendations and suggestions to review. Please email info@downs-syndrome.org.uk.

19 March (Adults)
Impact of the Coronavirus Bill on social care:

We think, in essence, that LA’s will now be deploying social work staff to focus only on people who are at higher risk of some kind of support package/carer breakdown and it will mean that they stop most of their non essential business as usual activities i.e. statutory annual reviews. We think they will target resources around reviews and assessments to only those people where some kind of urgent need has been identified that is life threatening.

We updated our Easy Read document to reflect the most current information. Download the document here.

16 March (Adults)
The government has provided guidance for all adults who have a learning disability (who are listed as vulnerable adults) about social distancing.

13 March (Adults)
Public Health England have published covid-19 guidance for supported living provision.

We updated our Easy Read document to reflect the most current information. Download the document here.