Written by Clare Melvin
World AIDS Day
December 1st is World AIDs Day and whilst education and awareness has increased since the 1980s and 1990s there is still relatively little information specifically for individuals with learning disabilities or those providing support. Mencap have produced a “5 Facts about HIV” poster series, giving information on what HIV is, the risks, being tested and living with HIV. You can access the posters here or click on the picture below.
NDTi Self Assessment Framework (SAF) Survey
Improving Health and Lives (IHaL), formerly the Learning Disabilities Public Health Observatory, are part of the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi). IHaL is a collaboration between NDTi, Public Health England and the Centre of Disability Research at Lancaster University to: (i) Improve the health of (and reduce health inequalities experienced by) people with learning disabilities in England, and (ii) help people who commission services make better use of information.
The Self-Assessment Framework (SAF) was a way for local areas to check on how they were doing for people with learning disabilities and families. When it started it was about health services. Social care and support were added later. IHaL undertook a survey to find out what people with learning disabilities, their families and friends thought about the SAF.
Their survey found that the people who took part thought that:
- When done well, the SAF used to work,
- People and families have fewer ways to be heard and influence change now,
- There are only a small number of people who know about ways get heard and change big things. A lot of people did not know about the SAF either,
- People want to improve things…but it needs to be simple, inclusive and flexible.
LD in the News
- Talent in Torbay. United Response’s ROC Creative is one of the south west’s leading art projects, providing an environment for people to express themselves artistically whatever their ability. All of the displayed work – including videos, photos, sketch books and character portraits – have been made by people with learning disabilities, Down’s syndrome, or autism. The exhibition is open from 9:30am every day until the 20th December. Read more and visit the United Response ROC Wellbeing website to find out further details.
- The REsTRAIN YOURSELF Toolkit encompasses the Six Core Strategies of restraint reduction. Use of the model within the toolkit has successfully reduced the use of restraint and seclusion in a variety of mental health settings, for children adults across the US and internationally. Read more and download the toolkit here.
- Protect Against Flu!!! In this time of cold and flu it is important not only for people with learning disabilities to get a flu jab but also those who care and support them. Family carers can get a free flu vaccination as well as health and social care workers. This will help to protect them and reduce the risk of spreading the flu to the people they support. NHS England has issued a letter to social care organisations confirming that health and social care staff are entitled to a free flu vaccination. Find out more here (scroll to the bottom of the page for a short video on flu vaccinations for people with learning disabilities).
- The Second Tizard Forensic Conference is being held at Friends House, London on December 19th 2018. This conference is about people LD and/or autism in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) and will explore issues about autism and the CJS, and consider how screening for intellectual disabilities is advancing in various parts of the Criminal Justice System (eg police stations and prisons). There will be presentations on new treatment programmes available in prisons and in the NHS/health sector. Talks will also cover recent and forthcoming changes to probation services and consider the progress made through the Government’s Transforming Care programme. This conference is suitable for carers, health professionals, staff from social services, probation services, prisons, police, lawyers and people with learning disabilities themselves. Find out more and book a place here.
- The Autistica annual national research conference brings together autism researchers, autistic people, relatives and carers to hear the latest research and discuss how to make progress towards long, healthy, happy lives for autistic people. The next conference will be held in Spring 2019. You can register your interest as a researcher or public member and watch talks from the 2018 conference on their YouTube channel.
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