Adult Day Centres: Reopening

Health and Social Care – in the House of Commons on 23rd June 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Pauline Latham Pauline Latham Conservative, Mid Derbyshire

What his timetable is for the reopening of adult day centres for people with learning difficulties after the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

I know how difficult it has been for people with learning disabilities and their families during lockdown, particularly without the back-up of day centres. I want to see those important services reopening as soon as it is possible and safe to do so, but that decision will need to be made locally. We are talking to the Local Government Association and others about what guidance and support may be needed to get day services up and running again.

Photo of Pauline Latham Pauline Latham Conservative, Mid Derbyshire

I thank the Minister for that answer, and I would like to wish her a happy birthday. Unlike schools, day centres such as Whitemoor in my Derbyshire constituency are normally open throughout the summer to provide desperately needed stimulation for many adults with special needs. What measures will she introduce to ensure that staff working at day centres are adequately supported to function as safely as possible, as soon as possible?

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

I thank my hon. Friend for her birthday greetings. She makes a really important point: as day centres reopen, they need to be safe for staff and users. Risk assessments will need to be carried out, and some may need to use personal protective equipment. Public Health England is developing guidance on the use of PPE in community settings. Local authority-run services should have PPE provided by the local authority, and services provided by other organisations that struggle to get PPE from wholesalers should be able to access emergency local supplies.