Learning Disability and Autism: Coronavirus

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 2nd December 2020.

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Photo of Helen Hayes Helen Hayes Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to provide consistent guidance on visiting rights during the covid-19 outbreak to the families of autistic people and people with learning disabilities living in residential care, supported living and hospital settings.

Photo of Helen Hayes Helen Hayes Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) autistic people and (b) people with learning disabilities living in residential care, supported living and hospital settings are able to receive visits from close family members as much as possible during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Helen Hayes Helen Hayes Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak and the restriction of visitors on the wellbeing of autistic people and people with learning disabilities living in residential care, supported living and hospital settings.

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

We recognise the particular challenges visiting restrictions pose for people with learning disabilities and autistic adults, and their loved ones, and we understand how important these visits are.

For care homes, we published guidance on 5 November to enable COVID-19-secure visits to take place for care home residents while national restrictions are in place. We are currently trialling visitor testing and plan to roll this out nationally to allow more visiting opportunities.

In supported living settings, managers and carers should suggest safe ways to host visitors, risk assessing individual settings and vulnerabilities, and considering the risks to others in shared accommodation. Families wishing to visit their loved ones in supported living or residential care settings should also follow the national guidance on meeting others safely, including guidance on support bubbles.

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