Helpful information and resources

We've gathered some information and resources to help you treat patients with a learning disability when they are in hospital.

Click each heading below to reveal information and links to resources.

Treating patients with a learning disability

Assessing and treating patients with a learning disability during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (PDF)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for social care: Best interest decisions (from the Social Care Institute for Excellence)

Rights to healthcare

We've created this guide to explains the rights of people with a learning disability when accessing healthcare (PDF) during the coronavirus outbreak.

If you are concerned that someone's needs are not being met speak to the hospital learning disability nurse or safeguarding team.

If you need help, contact the Learning Disability Helpline.

Information and resources from the NHS 

Coronavirus guidance relating to mental health, learning disabilities and autism

Managing capacity and demand within inpatient and community mental health, learning disabilities and autism services for all ages

Important advice to staff supporting people with a learning disability or autistim 

Clinical guide for front line staff to support the management of patients with a learning disability, autism or both during the coronavirus pandemic (relevant to all clinical specialities) (PDF) 

Information about learning disabilities from Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Maintaining standards and quality of care in pressurised circumstances

Coronavirus guidance for clinicians and NHS managers

Supporting patients of all ages who are unwell with coronavirus (COVID-19) in mental health, learning disability, autism, dementia and specialist inpatient facilities (PDF)

Grab and Go form

The coronavirus 'Grab and Go' form (Word) has been designed by family carers and NHS England, with support from organisations like Mencap.

The form can be used as well as a hospital passport, to tell healthcare workers what they really need to know in case someone has to go to hospital with coronavirus symptoms.

The form also comes with guidance on how to fill it in as effectively as possible.

If you are concerned about someone's care

If you are a healthcare professional and you are concerned about a person with a learning disability's care, NHS England advise following your own internal and local area escalation process.

It may also be helpful to speak to your hospital safeguarding team and learning disability nurse if you have one. 

If the person with a learning disability is in the community, try to speak to the local area safeguarding team and the community learning disability team.

You can also contact Mencap's Learning Disability Helpline for information and advice if you are concerned about someone's care. (This is a Mencap service and does not replace any official escalation or safeguarding process.)

Information from GOV.uk

Coronavirus guidance for healthcare professionals

Guidance for health and social care staff about looking after people who lack mental capacity during the coronavirus pandemic

Help with communication

Support with communicating with a person with a learning disability (PDF) (from Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust)

Pain scale tool (PDF) (from Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust)

Medical jargon buster: how to communicate terms and phrases in an accessible way (PDF) (from the General Medical Council)

Talk to us

We know this is a difficult and unusual time. We're here to help.

If you need information or advice you can contact our helpline or if you can, have a chat on our online community

Contact the helpline Go to the online community

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