Tara Bostock’s Family Call For Research Into LD Covid Death Rates


I agree wholeheartedly that persons with Learning Disabilities and also Autism should have been and now need to be given an increased priority to receive the COVID-19 vaccines.

In fact there is a petition, Prioritise vaccinations for people with a learning disability.

Persons with Down’s Syndrome have now been included in Priority 4, whereas some others with Learning Disabilities are now in Priority 6, but not all and therefore they will be vaccinated according to their age.

A further consideration is for persons with Learning Disabilities who have an aversion to needles and therefore can’t have the vaccine by injection. But currently there is no alternative, however, I do believe that 2 forms of Nasal Spray are now being tested within the UK.

Since May 2015 there has been the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) programme. This programme is showing that persons with learning disabilities, (LD) mortality is 20% less than persons who do not have learning disabilities. All deaths of persons with LD are, currently, referred to the LeDeR programme and research is ongoing, so why did the Government take this into account, when forming the priority groups and not wait until the situation was specifically mentioned to them, as NHS England are aware of the programme as it is funded by them.

I do wonder, if the lack of attention to persons with LD is not by accident by this and previous Governments and that there is an underlying motive.

Same Difference

The family of a woman with Down’s syndrome who died after contracting Covid-19 are calling for more research into how the virus affects people with disabilities.

Tara Bostock, 51, from Barlestone in Leicestershire, died despite having self-isolated, her family said.

Research has found people with learning disabilities are more likely to die from Covid.

Ms Bostock’s family described the death rate as “astonishing”.

‘Appalling loss’

Ms Bostock – described by her family as “a joy to be around” – lived with her sister and was waiting for a vaccine before she died on 21 January.

Her relatives said she was “the most beautiful, loving person”.

Niece Rebecca Barnes said people with learning disabilities needed to be vaccinated faster.

“I completely understand the elderly are very vulnerable,” she said.

“They need to be looked after, but there are other people that need looking after as well.

“The figures are astonishing [concerning]…

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Will your complaint get heard as the Government forces the Parliamentary Ombudsman to curb its service?


This is yet another example of disgraceful behaviour from this Government and by all accounts many previous Governments.

The Ombudsman services should be there to right the wrongs in Central and Local Governments and also health administrations, so that the public can get justice, instead of the current injustices.

However, until the Government will allow them to do the required work and provide the required funding the Ombudsman’s will fall way short of what should be.

Westminster Confidential

Rishi Sunak: Postponing the cash to improve the Ombudsman service

The Parliamentary Ombudsman has already – as I wrote in an earlier blog – faced a critical report from MPs on the way it handles some of its work.

And Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, has also turned down any prospect of new legislation to modernise the service by combining its work with the local government and social care ombudsman.

Not content with that, Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, has now postponed a three year funding programme which would have allowed it to introduce changes to improve matters.

Instead The Treasury has decided to give it just one year’s worth of funding and instructed it to concentrate on handling complaints arising out of Covid 19 pushing aside other grievances..

Details of this latest bad news has not been put out in any press release by the Ombudsman but has been…

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George Osborne’s legacy is all around us: his cuts left Britain helpless to resist Covid | Conservatives | The Guardian


This is so true, but to date nothing has been done to reverse cuts, even a proportion of them.

It was wrong then and therefore is still wrong now and even today all Local Authorities (LAs) are having to find savings, for costs and demand for services are forever increasing, while the Government Grant is not in any realistic proportion. In reality there were no savings to be made and this has been proven by COVID in so many ways.

Virtually all LA services are suffering and Social Care was and is decimated. As Polly states the poor, sick and disabled, those who could least afford any cuts to services, were the ones to suffer most, leading in some instances to their deaths, especially when the changes to welfare benefits are taken into account. For to claim welfare benefits the eligibility was tightened and claimants were sanctioned for the least failure to abide by the ongoing stringent conditions related to payments and eligibility to benefits. The loss of a miniscule amount of benefit had enormous consequences for persons on benefits, who were most likely living on a day to day basis from one benefit payment to another. For some, even the benefits they received were insufficient to manage.

But LAs are not the only authorities suffering for Health Authorities are suffering too, for while they have been receiving some increased funding the increases are in no way sufficient to maintain services at a level required. In fact the funding for the UK needs to be seriously looked at and it has to be sufficient for the 21st century and buffers need to be maintained to cater for the unexpected, for COVID will not be the last.

Also, with the state of pay scales in the UK, this left many who are in employment unable to manage. Many jobs have been lost over the last few years and even though other jobs have been created these will, more than likely, be at the lowest rate of pay (National Living Wage or even the Minimum Living Wage for persons under 25 years) and maybe part-time rather than full-time. Whereas the starting point for pay should be the Real Living Wage.

LAs do obtain funding in otherways, one being Business Rates, but these are also decreasing due to the effects of lockdowns and COVID restrictions limiting businesses opening.

The UK has never been good at pay rates for those on the lower levels of pay and George Osborne and his cronies did their utmost to ensure these pay levels were kept low, especially when costs were increasing.

One does not need to be a genius to see that this is wrong and not sustainable for a healthy and prosperous UK and which is equal to all.

 

Source: George Osborne’s legacy is all around us: his cuts left Britain helpless to resist Covid | Conservatives | The Guardian

Toilet provision for men and women: call for evidence – GOV.UK


I welcome this consultation for currently I am unaware of any public toilets where I live in Sheffield, except those in some large stores, who are closed due to the lockdown, although there toilets in supermarkets, which in some areas are few and far between, especially in city centres.

Hoping this consultation will change the trend for many years, where public toilets have been closed. Was this down to finance and if so, was this due to the 10 years of austerity cuts imposed on Local Authorities by the past Conservative Governments?

We do have some Changing Places toilets, but again there is an insufficiency, which needs to be rectified.

 

Source: Toilet provision for men and women: call for evidence – GOV.UK

Covid’s Harmful Effect On Disabled People’s Activity Exposed By Survey


Again persons with disabilities are adversely affected through no fault of their own.

Disabled people are already not treated equally in UK society, even though there has been legislation to correct this. This includes the Disability Discrimination Acts 1995, and Disability Discrimination Act 2005, and Equality Act 2010, but much more needs to be done. The Government compound this in their attitude to disability benefits and now COVID, which has closed many opportunities for people, including disabled people to engage in sports, a lifeline for many disabled people to engage with.

Then there is the COVID vaccine programme which as only minimally looked at and provided priority to some disabled people, namely Downs Syndrome.

Much more needs to be done for any chance of equality to be gained, but this Government does not have a clue.

For they are also failing to act on Social Care, which many disabled people and others rely on to maintain life.

This is a Government of in-action when it comes to disabled people.

Same Difference

Covid-19 has reversed progress made in levels of activity among disabled people, according to a new report, amid concerns the gains may not be recovered because of the scarifying effects of the pandemic.

The observations come in the second Annual Disability and Activity Survey, which measures participation and attitudes towards physical activity among disabled people. Conducted by the disability charity Activity Alliance, it is seen as a companion to Sport England’s Active Lives study.Leading Paralympian says lockdown needs of disabled people ignoredRead more

The survey found that before the onset of Covid the number of disabled people who said they were physically inactive had fallen to 34%, down from 41% the year before. This corresponded with an 18% rise (from 40% to 58%) in the share of those who said they had “the opportunity to be as physically active as they want to be”. Following Covid, however…

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How many more DWP deaths will there be?


The figures speak for themselves, so no one should be in any doubt about the intentions of this Tory and previous Tory Governments in their will to decimate the population of disabled people.

Yesterday 27 January 2021 was Holocaust Memorial Day and the Tories are as guilty as the Nazis, the Serbs and others in the massacre of sections of their community by numerous methods

insufficient funding of Social Care

insufficient funding of Community Care

Sanctions on benefit claimants

COVID-19 scandals in Care Homes

insufficient vaccine priority for persons with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism

and many others

Boris has stated he and his Government have done the best they can during COVID-19, well if that is their best I would not wish to see their worst

Then to ‘Cap It’ he stated the immortal phrase ‘Lessons would be Learnt’, well from my 71 years of experience of life I have never seen that lessons have been learnt, is this due to, not wishing to learn, no funding to learn, inability to learn or others I can’t really say, although I assume funding will play a big part, but in effect it could be a mixture of them all.

So, unfortunately I can’t see anyway learning can be improved, unless all of the above are reversed and them some.

Govt Newspeak

Mum, 27, took fatal overdose after litany of 28 failings in DWP benefit claim, I don’t call it failings I call it culpable manslaughter! Time and time again we saw death after death and the DWP refused to act or denied that there was a problem, whilst we saw death after death because of the DWP’s negligence. Sadly, I have written/reblogged many articles about DWP deaths and they never fail to upset me, mainly because my own husband truthfully admits he’d have been one of “collateral damage” if I hadn’t have fought tooth and nail for him

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Cerrie Burnell: ‘Disabled People Have Been Shut Away During The Pandemic’


Starting from around the Victorian era Society’s attitudes towards persons with disabilities changed for before then, it was general that they would live with their families in their local communities. This is referenced in the book ‘Those they called IDIOTS by Simon Jarrett’, http://www.bbk.ac.uk/events/remote_event_view?id=18449, which traces the disabled mind from 1700 to the present day.

As you know we are in the COVID-19 pandemic and even though there are now vaccines which will help to combat the effects of COVID-19, it is currently unsure if the vaccines will stop you contracting COVID-19 and even then passing it on, for it is still early days and this still needs to be researched.

So, this pandemic will be with us for some considerable time, but hopefully to a lessor effect, that is unless a mutant strain or strains render the vaccines less effective. It will be possible to tweak the vaccines to overcome the mutant strains, but this will take some time.

It maybe that the vaccines are here to stay and to fully combat the mutant strains the vaccines will need to be taken on a regular basis, such as is the case for the flu vaccine.

The pandemic is, as stated in the article, having a dramatic effect on the learning disability community as they are more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 and more likely to suffer more serious consequences than some persons without disabilities, causing an increased death rates for persons with disabilities. This is in addition to the already poor death rates for persons with learning disabilities as highlighted in the LeDeR programme conducted by the University of Bristol, http://www.bristol.ac.uk/sps/leder/about/.

There are many aspects on how the lives of persons with Learning Disabilities are being effected in addition to those mentioned in this article, which will include Welfare benefits and the crisis in Social Care.

In both these instances the Current and previous Government’s attitudes to persons with disabilities and the state of Government funding needs to be taken into account.

For the latter there is the petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care, https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care, in which your support would be appreciated.

Same Difference

“As a disabled person you have to be so political every day,” says Cerrie Burnell, “just in how you go about your life; being joyful has to be a choice because you are told at the beginning that you’re not really welcome here or there is something wrong with you.”

Burnell, a former presenter on the children’s channel CBeebies was born without the lower part of her right arm. The subject of prejudice by some parents when she got the CBeebies job, Burnell – also an actor and writer – explores the origins of negative attitudes towards disability in a BBC Two documentary on Tuesday, Silenced: The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain.

Part of a BBC season marking the 25th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), the programme asks why disabled people have been ostracised from society, charts the battle for rights and concludes that, despite the freedoms…

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Silenced: The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain Review – Have Attitudes Changed?


Attitudes have always been changing, and will always do so.

For in the 18th century persons with learning disabilities (LD) or now known as intellectual disabilities, but with different labelling, were more inclined to be looked after by their families and were a part of the community.

But on approaching the 19th century this form of accepting changed and persons with LD were more than likely to be placed in institutions where they were out of sight of Society and, of course, their families.

But in the mid-Twentieth century there institutions were, quite rightly, starting to be closed and persons with LD were again within the community and to a large extent their families under the heading of Community Care. But there was one major drawback, as Community Care was never, anywhere near sufficiently funded by Governments, which is still the case for Social Care today.

In 1948 the NHS was created and welfare benefits from 1906 -1914. However, the current and last few Conservative Governments have eroded some of the financial state of these benefits with a view to enhance employment.

But these Governments failed to see, either by design or ignorance that not all on benefits can gain employment and for some of those that do, their financial gain in doing so was minimal, as they were on the statutory minimum wage which in many instances was just above subsistence level and this is the case, even today.

For many employment opportunities on a salary above subsistence to be replaced by opportunities on only the minimum wage. this is in no way inclusion and this is for the general workforce.

But within this there are many persons with disabilities, who need, due to their disabilities more income to cover the additional costs relating to their disabilities.

Yes.as said before, there are welfare benefits, but these are again insufficient and Tory governments have put in place barriers which make it much more difficult to obtain these benefits.

This coupled with the state of Social Care in the twenty-first century are making lives even more difficult for persons with disabilities.

Much needs to be done by this Government to engage change, but have they the will to do this? I fear not.

For this and many other reasons I ask you to support the petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care, https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care

Same Difference

Children’s TV presenters are often at the forefront of social change. Perhaps this is because – as one of the people interviewed in Silenced: The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain (BBC Two) remarked – “children are much better at inclusion” than their angry-letter-writing, Ofcom-complaint-making parents.

Ben Cajee, of the current CBeebies cohort, won praise for his age-appropriate discussion of racism in October, but in 2009 it was his predecessor Cerrie Burnell who inadvertently became an activist. Burnell was born with a right arm that ends just below the elbow. She hadn’t set out to champion the rights of disabled people – all she wanted was to introduce another episode of Balamory – but when parents complained that her appearance was “scaring children”, she did just that.

Where do such prejudices against disabled people come from? This documentary saw Burnell explore that question, finding the beginnings of an answer in…

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Jacob Rees Mogg says Unicef should be ‘ashamed’ for feeding Britain’s hungry kids – Mirror Online


Jacob Rees Mogg is an utter disgrace, for instead to degrading the actions of Unicef, he and the rest of this Tory Government should be doing more to ensure the children of Southwark, South London and all other children in other areas of the UK are not going hungry.

He will not understand what hunger is, not with all his wealth, for he would not be able to stand going hungry for a day, let alone weeks, months, years.

 

 

Source: Jacob Rees Mogg says Unicef should be ‘ashamed’ for feeding Britain’s hungry kids – Mirror Online

Anger at proposals to scale back HS2 connection | TheBusinessDesk.com


In my 70 years of being in Yorkshire, especially Sheffield, rail development has always left us behind, but I believed that this would not be so with HS2. However, it seems that past experience is coming true again.

London appears to get anything it wishes for, but not the East of the Pennines.

No mention was made of Manchester so I assume that HS2 will be being extended up the West of the Pennines, so a double blow for the East.

So, much for the ‘Northern Powerhouse’, broken promises again, but not for London.

 

Source: Anger at proposals to scale back HS2 connection | TheBusinessDesk.com