Category Archives: Learning Disabilities

‘Barbaric’: Hundreds with learning disabilities kept locked up for years | ITV News

We all know that this practice is totally wrong, but little is being done to right these wrongs, especially by this Government and many, if not all previous Governments.

Adam Downs is not a criminal nor suffers with mental health issues, well didn’t when originally incarcerated. He has learning disabilities and autism which are conditions and not diseases, so there are no medical treatments to be administered and no way the conditions will be minimised or go completely, by being in Rampton and similar institutions his condition will worsen, and will have already done so, considerably, for it is love and attention in a very caring environment and not an institution metering out punishments, being given totally unsuitable and irrevelent meditcations to subdue his behaviours, which are a means of communications from Adam that he is total upset and not being listened to and no way are his family.

He is there because the ststem is totally ‘unfit for purpose’ as over many years, even from 1948 and well before sufficient funding, if any at all have been provided by each and every Government. I mention 1948 as that was a large shift in creating or starting to create the ‘welfare State’ and the creation of the NHS, in which Social Care should have been included as a major element of health care and not been left aside with no real funding. Even in 1970 when Social Care was officially brought into the jurisdiction of Local Authorities, but again without the necessary required funding.

Health and Social Care are so interelated and one so much depends on the other, for without the required social care peoples health deteriorates causing more needed access to NHS care and when discharge is contemplated, there is a great shortage of suitable social care into whom the perfsons can be discharged to, csusing persons to be retained in hospitals, thereby blocking others to be admitted to the NHS hospital system. Thus, causing ambulances to not being able to transfer their patients into A&E so queues of ambulances are created outside A&Es, thereby reducing the capacity for ambulances to respond to other 999 callouts, creating much more distress not only for the ambulance crews, but the people awaiting for ambulances to come to their aid, which makes their conditions and ailments worse and eventually causing many unnecessay deaths, which are blamed on the ambulance service and the NHS hospitals, when the total blame rests with the Governments and especially the health and social care Ministers and the Prime Ministers.

The required funding needs to be found, for it is when there are Government ‘pet’ projects and social care has been waiting for far too long.

But, while a very major issue, Finance, funding is not the only cause in the demise of social care for again Governments Policies are also to blame, Immigration, social housing, welfare benefits, etc.

More people are desperately needed in social care, but people who are able to care and respect the chocices of the persons they are caring for, but this requires a much increased hourerly rate, better working conditions and rights of employment.

Also, please note that Social care is much more than the elderly in care homes, for it includes both adults and children in areas of home care, supported living, respite, hospices, etc.

Local Authorities, urgently need to be sufficiently funded and not be subjected to even more austerity cuts as the recovery for social care as to be seen to urgently, or there will be no social care, which will then means there is no NHS to speak of.

Source: ‘Barbaric’: Hundreds with learning disabilities kept locked up for years | ITV News

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The worst of Covid is over for most of us, but it still lingers for those with learning disabilities | Sonia Sodha | The Guardian

As are most headlines, this is misleading for COVID is not over for anyone, it is just the restrictions have been relaxed and some are now only guidelines and the current variants of COVID are milder than the initial variant.

Then we have the Government actions, or in most cases, inactions for in many in stance this Government was slow to react and when they did it was then kept on for longer than some thought was necessary.

There was delayed actions in bringing in some of the restrictions and inactions with regards to PPE and for persons with learning disabilities, (LD).

While for the vaccine programme there was very quick actions.

To some extent the knowledge of COVID-19 was insufficient, but COVID has been with us for many years, just not stated as being COVID, as the yearly invasion of Influenza is a form of COVID, but not as serious, although every year there are deaths relating to flu, but mainly with persons with other underlying conditions, which was not so with COVID-19 where anyone, even with no underlying conditions could die from COVID.

Persons with learning disabilities were always in serious risk from COVID-19 much more so than from the yearly flu. With the flu persons with learning disabilities are eligible for the yearly flu vaccine, but with COVID-19 were not, initially eligible for the priority COVID-19 injections. This action by the Government makes no sense at all and could be seen as an action to rid the UK of persons with LD.

Even though the evidence around the flu. there is also the evidence from the LeDeR programme, which commenced in 2016 through Bristol University, where any deaths of persons with LD had to be reported to the LeDeR section at Bristol University , who then reported back to the Department of Health and Social Care on a regular basis so early deaths of persons with LD could be research. Now is it known that for persons with LD there is seen to be an average of early deaths of 20% earlier than for persons without learning disabilities.

This and other UK Government could do more fore persons with LD, but are very reluctant to do so, even with Welfare Benefits, where in many instances they have to attend some degrading assessments and sometimes conducted by persons who have no respect for the persons with disabilities.

Persons have enough barriers from Society to contend with, without more from the Government. Unfortunately the systems are not fit for purpose and are certainly well underfunded and could well be by design. Under the Care Act 2014 reasonable adjustment have to be made, but the Government conveniently forgets or disregards this when there are Government actions or inactions.

But, that is not just in the UK, for it is much like it the World allover.

 

Source: The worst of Covid is over for most of us, but it still lingers for those with learning disabilities | Sonia Sodha | The Guardian

15 Scots with learning disabilities and autism in hospital for more than 20 years | The Scotsman

As well as being a Human Rights issue, it is a disgrace that persons with learning disabilities and autism are referred to these hospitals and are there for much of their lives. But, much of this is down to lack of sufficient planning and development of services, with funding being a major issue. Social care due to incompetent Government management both today and many, if not all over the past 40 years, is in a major crisis, but also housing as a role to play, which again is a funding and planning issue which has and is causing an extreme short supply of suitable housing.

There is also the public view of Social Care, which, very unfortunately does not have the degree of understanding and priority as does the NHS. But is just as important and needed as is the NHS and both are very closely related. As degrees of insufficiency in the NHS, housing and social care lead to more and increasing health issues for the NHS to deal with, thus creating capacity issues within the NHS..

Social housing has been allowed to decay, coupled with the inability to raise the housing stock. This brings health issues, which are not being sufficiently dealt with and therefore the cycle of deprivation continues.

So solve the very grave funding issues of social care, build more suitable housing and maintain existing stocks, which in turn will decrease the need and reliance on the NHS, which also needs to be suitably funded.

The ‘Duty of Care’ with the Government, the local Governments and the services concerned is causing much concern and much disregard for the individuals and families involved.

Years of Government incompetency’s, lack of forward planning and the required funding have all come together and this while causing the problems are also affecting the human rights of the individuals and families concerned.

These areas are as important as all others being defence of the UK, Policing, Local Authority services and the tory 10 and more years of austerity cuts to the local authorities are as much to blame as the other issues. The population of the UK as been seriously disregarding by successive Governments and this needs to change.

 

Source: 15 Scots with learning disabilities and autism in hospital for more than 20 years | The Scotsman

Mum’s anger as son held at Rampton Hospital alongside notorious criminals – because he is autistic – Nottinghamshire Live

This is a travesty, which is happening way too often.

This is due to many reasons:

Lack of support for social care, mostly financial, bit also staff resources
Lack of suitable social housing, mainly due to finance and insufficient knowledge and flexibility in the system
a system which is nowhere suitable
classing autism and learning disabilities incorrectly as a mental condition

It is a very large worry for every parent of a child with autism and learning disabilities and one which urgently needs addressing in all areas, including educating professionals who should already know, funding sufficiently all affected areas and many more.

 

Source: Mum’s anger as son held at Rampton Hospital alongside notorious criminals – because he is autistic – Nottinghamshire Live

Councils boost social care budgets by £700m but say they are ‘plugging gaps in an underfunded system’ – Community Care

Local Authorities (LAs) have been underfunded for far too long, especially with 10 years of Austerity cuts and then increased costs due to COVID, so LA services have been reduced, some to very critical levels, which affect everyone within LA areas.

But with persons with disabilities they have been suffering more, while many LAs did endeavour to resist cuts to Social Care, with the degree of cuts to LAs the resisting was not sustainable and as with all LA services, social care had to eventually be cut also, in many instances drastically.

So, not only were disabled people suffering the cuts to services as everyone was, the cuts to social care effectively meant the degree of cuts to service was greater than to persons who don’t have disabilities.

When, it is well known that to achieve equality there needs, in many instances, to increase costs to ensure equality is achieved.

This is concurrent with increases in disability benefits also not rising inline with inflation, if there were any real increases, which in many instances there were not.

This means that, in many instances disabled persons were suffering at least 3-fold of cuts as to persons with no disabilities. In many instances disabled peoples food bills are higher and certainly energy costs even more so. So much more increases in costs while incomes not being increased accordingly and with no means to obtain additional incomes.

This just shows that this Government does not care, no matter what they say, and it is not as though the evidence is not there for there are reams of evidence especially with regards to learning disabilities as there is the LeDeR programmes where early deaths of persons with learning disabilities (LD) and autism are recorded and the information reported to the Department of Health and Social Care, as generally persons with LD re dying around 20% earlier than persons without disabilities.

The lack of interest to this and other information was clearly evident during COVID where persons with learning disabilities were not, initially, placed in any Priority categories , especially in the COVID Vaccination programme.

But, tis is nothing new with any Government of any Party as, by the actions and the many inactions taken show that persons with disabilities, especially LD and autism are treated as being an inconvenience by Governments and due to lack of finances by some if not all LAs

Yes, there have and are the discrimination and Equality Acts, currently being the Equality Act 2010, but there are many areas which are not covered and even those that are, many organisations go out of their way to not abide by the requirements, unless directed to by Judicial Reviews on court orders, but many will need Legal Aid, to do so. But to take organisations to court have also be made very difficult as there have been many instances restricting access to Legal Aid, such as for Financial Abuse,  and while this is about domestic abuse on females, similar can be for disabled persons, thereby making it impossible for many disabled people to even start legal proceedings.

More needs to be done for disabled persons, more substantial Government finance to LAs for social care, relaxation of Legal Aid restrictions and the equality legislation to be more substantial to cover all aspects of equality and not just certain areas. However, when equality legislation is brought in it generally as clauses stating that to abide is dependent on costs to do so are reasonable, if not and they could be more than reasonable then the need to abide may not be required.

This is a get out clause, which means that in these situations the rights to equality for disabled persons will not be met and so inequality continues.

It is not that a persons disability is a barrier, but the views and non-accountability of others to abide by equality legislation that is the barrier and in some instances the legislation itself.

Source: Councils boost social care budgets by £700m but say they are ‘plugging gaps in an underfunded system’ – Community Care

If we were getting proper care and support, there wouldn’t be premature deaths happening.

So true, and while the NHS is beginning to show some signs of understanding learning disability (LD) and autism there is still a very long way to go.

Until persons with LD and autism are given the priority they should always have had, then early deaths will occur. But, it is not just the NHS, but also social care and mainly the Government.

Unfortunately, this and previous Governments have done very little to address LD and autism. You only have to look at the COVID pandemic to see how persons with LD and autism were not on their agenda. Fir while it should have been obvious that in the vaccine programme that they should have been treated within the priority categories they were not dome so, initially.

For, to some extent, there still is the ‘out of site, out of mind’, as can be seen with persons being referred to specialist hospitals. If the resources were there then these referrals would not be necessary, but that would require a fully funded social care system as well as appropriate housing be available, not just in a few places but in every part of the UK.

Just in the last few days has there been a Select Committee report, which this Government is apparently ignoring. well they have other apparently more urgent priorities in electing a new leader of the Tory Party and Prime Minister. Not once as Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss made any comments on learning disability and autism, so that is proof as to how they view its importance.

But, it is not just this Government but all previous Governments who have not taken learning disability and autism seriously and in doing so, have ignored the extreme crisis in Social Care and only looking at the NHS when it suits them.

To effectively alter how LD and autism is dealt with not only have resources need to be made available directly to those with LD and autism, but the whole of social care needs urgent financing, then in doing so, could the extent of needing the NHS be eventually reduced, so ensuring not only the crisis in social care is resolved but also the NHS.

It will take time and any delays will only extend that time and in doing so the crisis in both social care and NHS will continue to escalate.

 

Source: If we were getting proper care and support, there wouldn’t be premature deaths happening.

Family Of Woman With Down’s Syndrome Denied Intensive Care Seek Answers From Covid-19 Inquiry | Same Difference

While we all hold the NHS in great esteem for all it does and the great staff it employs, it does not mean that it could be better and do much more.

Even though some funding is and has been available for the NHS and other health related services, this funding does fall well short of what is really required, especially when the increases in the UK population are accounted for and the degrees of complex needs and other health related conditions are taken into account.

Some health facilities are more short of funding than others, especially mental health and when this is coupled with the severe lack of funding for social care and some areas of public health, it does show the considerable short fall that the NHS is experiencing. Indeed, even with all these shortfalls the services are still expected to come up with savings, when in re

However, the Government is never held accountable for their lack of funding and the onus is always carried by the NHS when there are no areas where savings can be made, without cutting existing services even further

The Government is causing these dilemmas, but not accepting responsibilities.

Everyone appears to agree that ‘do not resuscitate’, DNRs) should never be considered without consent of each individual and, in many instances their families, especially when there are areas of lack of capacity with the individuals. But, as we can see this consent appears to be, in many instances, ignored by the NHS. To ensure consent is always the priority it, unfortunately means, that the legal aspects should be considered, but that is a costly exercise, especially now that access to legal aid has been more difficult to obtain, due to changes through Government actions.

This creates a great degree of loss of equality rights and this again is due to the current equality legislation being totally inadequate. Again a result of Government actions or more correctly inactions.

Yes, the NHS should be held accountable, for lack of resources should not be an excuse to restrict peoples rights, but in addition the Government and the respective Ministers also need to be made accountable, which they never are.

 

Source: Family Of Woman With Down’s Syndrome Denied Intensive Care Seek Answers From Covid-19 Inquiry | Same Difference

COVID nasal sprays could offer advantages over traditional vaccines – a virologist explains how they work

I am aware that research of a COVID nasal spray are ongoing as are research into COVID tablets and COVID patches all of which would, if they are as effective as the vaccines would be of great benefit to combat COVID infections and transmissions. But I fear the same urgency, importance and finance are not being placed on these areas and too much reliance is being given to the current vaccines.

To have these other forms of COVID products would be beneficial in m any other ways for they would be much easier to transport and administer for they could well be administered with the interventions of medical personnel. This would be not only of great benefit to the so called, developed world, but even more so for the so called, undeveloped world, sometimes referred to as ‘3rd world ‘ countries.

How I so hate that terminology for we should be all equal, no matter where in the world we reside.

While I so wish these alternative forms of COVID treatments were here now, as |I have said for the many other parts of our world, but I have also personal reasons, for my own daughter is one such person with a needle phobia and so currently is unable to be COVID vaccinated, which is causing me so much great worries.

She is, currently, undergoing needle phobia therapies, but her phobia is so deep routed due to all the many operations she had to undergo from birth, which has left a deep rooted fear of not only needles. But also, what she feels the needle may lead to, the many medical procedures she undergone for many years from birth. This is coupled with her lack of degree of understanding, even though she is in her 50s, she has learning disabilities and autism which as caused a severe lack of understanding capacity to a large degree. Not only is she unable to give her consent, she has no understanding of what consent is. However, she is willing to take other forms of medication be it liquid or tablets as she as not experience negative effects of the forms of medication and has a great trust in those caring for her. To enforce anything upon her will break that trust meaning she will be even more vulnerable than she currently is.

So for many reasons this new research into nasal sprays, tablets and patches is of great importance and I so hope the expertise and degree of importance, urgency and finance is of equality to that of the original research into COVID vaccinations.

Source: COVID nasal sprays could offer advantages over traditional vaccines – a virologist explains how they work

‘Antiquated’ mental health laws in England and Wales set for overhaul | Health policy | The Guardian

This is news that has been required for some long time, however, it needs to be reinforced by a huge investment is corresponding social care services, which are exceedingly underfunded and have been for far too long. In fact, social care has never been sufficiently funded by any UK Government.

The moves in the 60s to increase community care and the closure of mental institutions were a good move, but sufficient funding did not materialise to ensure it was a full success.

‘The impetus to close asylums began in the 1960s. This may have resulted in reduced admissions but, in practice, few community services were developed and large-scale closures did not start until the 1980s, with the first closure in 1986. For hospitals that were completely closed, the process took around two years.

 

Case study 1: Deinstitutionalisation in UK mental health services

https://www.kingsfund.org.uk › making-change-possible’
 
Safeguarding and care have to be main priorities, as are choice, dignity and respect and in the current system not all are abided by with much determent to the persons in need of care.
 
So while the expected charge is good news,  it will, without the necessary funding be not as a successful as it should be.
 
Much is needed in social care, but without the funding it will not be achieved and the funding is required now, not in 3 or more years. Persons with learning disabilities and/or autism have a right to life and to lead their lives as they wish to, as we all have, but currently there are still many inequalities.  
 

 

Source: ‘Antiquated’ mental health laws in England and Wales set for overhaul | Health policy | The Guardian

right to life and to lead their lives as they wish, as we all have, but currently there are still many ill equalities

Queen’s cousins Katherine and Nerissa Bowes-Lyon | The Crown’s real story | Radio Times

Over the years persons with development, learning and now known as intellectual disabilities have been looked after in many ways. Pre nineteenth century persons with these disabilities were looked after within the family and the community. However  at the start of the nineteenth century persons with these disabilities were moved into the newly created network of county pauper lunatic asylums after the County Asylums Acts of 1815 and 1845.

It was not until the 1980s that a ‘Green Paper’ was published ‘’Care in the Community’ which resulted in many being transferred to have care in the community once more, however, as usual, insufficient finance was made available so, while being viewed as a success, it was not as successful as it could be, as while better than the previous institutions some quality and quantity of care was not as much as there should be.

Some, even to today some have been placed in, so called’ short term assessment units, but short term could still be years and while the stays are being looked at  under ‘Care and Treatment Reviews’ many still are still there and some are still being placed in these units.

Reference can be made to ‘Those They Called IDIOTS’ by Simon Jarrett, which covers the care and treatment for persons with Learning Disabilities and Autism from 1700 to the present day.

While much is being done, there is considerably more to be done to more improve the quality and quantity of care. This will require much increased finance and a concerted drive to enable more persons to come into the care profession, which will need much more Government commitment, including finance, but even more so the whole concept that social care is as much needed as is health care within the NHS and thereby providing a much better understanding with the Government, the UK population and the media on social care. Within this is a much more better outlook on welfare benefits, which needs to be more available and the amounts increased to at least cover inflation.

 

Source: Queen’s cousins Katherine and Nerissa Bowes-Lyon | The Crown’s real story | Radio Times