In care home settings, the coronavirus is having a disproportionate affect on people with learning disabilities. The Care Quality Commission recently reported that there were 175% more deaths in places that support people with learning disabilities in England in April, than reported in the same period of time last year.
For people with a learning disability, this difficult situation is exacerbated by the challenges they already face in day-to-day life. Supporting people with learning disabilities through the pandemic is complicated by the rising levels of stress caused by having to adhere to the new regime of lockdown and social distancing. Explaining these changes in routine to someone who has a learning disability and who requires positive behaviour support is extremely difficult.
At Field Lane we reacted quickly to lockdown and put in measures to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our clients and staff. We completely changed the way in which we operate. We have not experienced any deaths from within our residential projects, although there has been one death related to Covid-19 amongst the clients we support in the community.
The government has extended its testing programme to cover all key workers, including workers in residential settings. This has meant that our staff teams have been able to get a test when necessary.
We remain vigilant and will continue to monitor the situation careful. Although restrictions are starting to be relaxed, we are mindful of not opening up too soon. Our priority remains keeping all of our clients and staff safe and healthy.