CookABILITY and The Independent Mental Health Act Review.

Written by Clare Melvin

Happy New Year to all from the GLLDCOP, we look forward to continuing the great work and progress made for the learning disability and autism community in 2019!


An exciting new project, cookABILITY, launched at the end of last year providing free online cooking videos every week. The videos have been made with people with learning disabilities and aim to encourage people with learning disabilities, autism and Downs Syndrome to cook for themselves.

United Response have highlighted the increased risk of poor diet and lack of exercise in people with learning disabilities. They have made easy to follow, simple recipes for meals such as spaghetti bolognese, chilli con carne, and quorn paella, empowering individuals to make healthy choices and providing the skills to prepare and cook them. As well as the videos, there are easy-read lists of what you will need to make the dish. Find out more and visit the YouTube channel here.

Mental Health Act Independent Review.

In May 2018 the interim review of the Mental Health Act (easy-read and full versions available) was discussed on the GLLDCOP blog and in December the final review was publish. The review was carried out to look at:

  • rising rates of detention under the Act
  • the disproportionate number of people from black and minority ethnic groups detained under the Act
  • processes that are out of step with a modern mental health care system

The Easy Read report is available here explaining why the report was carried out, who did it, how it was done and what the review found.

The final report sets out recommendations covering four principles that the review believes should underpin the reformed Act:

  • choice and autonomy – ensuring service users’ views and choices are respected
  • least restriction – ensuring the Act’s powers are used in the least restrictive way
  • therapeutic benefit – ensuring patients are supported to get better, so they can be discharged from the Act
  • people as individuals – ensuring patients are viewed and treated as rounded individuals

A summary version of the report is also available and includes an illustrative guide to the review’s recommended changes. The full report can be downloaded here.

LD in the News

  • Chris Packham Honored by the Queen. National Autistic Society ambassador, Christ Packham, has been honoured by the Queen in the New Year’s Honours list and awarded a CBE for services for nature conservation.

Conferences and Events.

  • 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.
  • Disability Confident Breakfast Event, 25th January 2019, Hatfield. The Disability Confident scheme companies think differently about disability, and improve how they attract, recruit and retain disabled workers to make the most of the talents disabled workers can bring to the workplace. This FREE breakfast event is hosted by Grant Shapps MP and offers information about the Disability Confident scheme which has 3 levels that have been designed to support companies on their Disability Confident journey. The day will also provide information about available funding for adjustments to ensure workers with disabilities, or physical or mental health conditions, aren’t substantially disadvantaged when doing their jobs. Sign up here.

Don’t forget to follow us on twitter – @glldcop and join the GLLDCOP facebook group!

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