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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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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95% of decisions in favour of parents, but nobody wins at the SEND Tribunal – Special Needs Jungle


Unfortunately Local Authorities (LAs) are not only not working with the ‘best interests’ of children under ‘SEND’ or ‘SENDIST’, as they also are not in many assessments of Need for both children and adults.

Are they doing this deliberately, I feel they are, but not because they are mean and wish to do do, although some may, no it is because LAs have been left desperately short of funding, due to 10 years of austerity cuts and the the additional costs of COVID-19.

In fact, social care has never been sufficiently funded and this is purely down to successive Government in depriving LAs of sufficient funding, not only for social care, but many other essential services.

Also when Governments put additional responsibilities on LAs, the Government fail to provide the additional funding to allow the LAs to successfully manage these additional responsibilities.

To a large extent this is also the care with health care (NHS), but no where to the same degree.

Is it that these Governments do not understand LAs and especially Social Care, well to some extent this can be so, but they also see LAs as a means to save on funding, as they do not fully understand the needs.

This has been recently be shown in the Governments handling of PPE during this COVID-19 pandemic. for they could not see the need to have a large stock of PPE, but would assume that they just need supplies to cover the usual demand, and felt if that demand increase it would be easy to obtain additional supplies, which COVID-19 has proved is a false premise.

But like LAs in their dealings with SEND and SENDIST, they never learn and only look to make saving, when, effectively saving are not there to be made, it is pure incompetence.

So when, it is clear needs are not being covered or they spend money they can ill afford to in defence of indefensible legal cases, this leads LAs to be even more short of funding, rather than cut their losses and pay or provide what they should have done initially.

This, in turn, creates an impossible situation for the persons in need and their families, who are already in very stressful situations and they should not be subjected to immense further stress from LAs and technically Governments.

The leaders of LAs in challenging the Tribunal’s to be changed is far from the answer, but LAs see this has the easiest option.

For the LAs are completely ‘at fault’ and so are the Government, but to challenge the Government for more substantial is much more difficult.

In addition the need to have Social Care, which is effectively as important as health care and could be more so, is far from recognised by Government and unfortunately a sizeable portion of the UK population. For, if you are not in need of Social care, many will not see its importance, that is, until they require it for themselves or for a loved family member.

Most people use health care. but not the same proportion use social care, so social care is not recognise as a very essential service, when it really is.

This Government needs to do, urgently, to reverse the non-actions of itself and many previous Governments and immediately provide all the funding for LAs to provide all that is required within Social Care, which will include SEND and SENDIST.

For this reason and many more, I created the petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care,

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care.

Please show your support for children and adults in need of social care, by signing the petition and then sharing.

 

Source: 95% of decisions in favour of parents, but nobody wins at the SEND Tribunal – Special Needs Jungle

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge criticism over Royal Train tour misguided – The Yorkshire Post says | Yorkshire Post


Was this misguided or not?

Well we all have our opinions and perhaps all views should be considered, for we do live in a, supposed democratic country, but sometimes this would appear to be contradictory.

My own view, on reflection, is that it was misguided and very costly, while it did bring pleasure to some people as it was acknowledging their own contributions during this COVID-19 year.

However, in the current climate when certain travel is restricted, I feel now was not the correct time, as it could more easily have been done virtually and thereby not giving mixed messages, for there have been plenty of them, have they not, Dominic Cummings, Rita Ora and others.

The costs of this jaunt would be excessive, so who is paying for it, I hope it is not Government with taxpayers contributions?

Also why was the out journey up the West Coast, when the out journey could have been via the East Coast and the return via the West Coast?

It is not just the cost of the train and its journey, but then there would be the security costs, let alone costs incurred to the Local Authorities (LAs) where they travelled to, when Local Authorities are exceedingly short of Funds due to 10 years of Tory austerity cuts and then the vast extra costs of COVID-19. Many LAs are on the verge of bankruptcy and to create a balanced budget, more cuts to essential services will be required, when these services are already short on capacity, meaning many vulnerable people will be without vital services they need to live.

This includes the much maligned Social Care, where funding is already exceedingly short and the small amounts gifted by the Government fall way short of what is really required.

The petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care,

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care

is very relevant in this climate.

Please support.

Source: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge criticism over Royal Train tour misguided – The Yorkshire Post says | Yorkshire Post

I’m still here. My continued battle with Long Covid and good memories.


No truer words have been published and my heart goes out to Charlotte Hughes and her family.

The Government also play their part in this debate, for all their work is there to discredit benefit claimants, for they make it as difficult as possible to claim benefits. Also, in most instances the assessments that claimants have to undergo add to this discredit of benefit claimants. Assessors have been shown to be producing incorrect assessments and some shown to have deliberately so, but has one assessor been prosecuted for doing so?

I fear not, which if correct is a disgrace.

The Government goes out of its way to make like difficult for vulnerable people, disabled people, the poor and sick, etc.

then, this Government and many previous Governments have deliberately kept Social Care short of fun ding, so it is not just welfare benefits they are using to make like difficult for persons in need, but also Social Care, which they require to live a reasonable life.

Governments have made numerous promises to provide the correct funding for Social Care and to solve many of the other problems, but to date, they have not done so. So, Social Care continues to slide greater into crisis and there will come a time, if it has not already been reached when the failure to solve the crisis will cause, not only distress and pain, but the ultimate, death.

It could be argued that in the COVID-19 pandemic this failure to solve the Social Care crisis as already created deaths, a great stain on this Government.

To bring this to the attention of everyone, especially the Government I created the petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care,

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care.

Please view the petition and, if you agree, please sign and share.

But funding is not the only problem, even if it is the main problems, so, if you wish for further information please see,

https://1drv.ms/w/s!Aq2MsYduiazgoEy6ROxeV0abd2mT?e=tA03zo

Thank you

Chris Sterry

#care #socialcare #crisis

The poor side of life

Dear readers an extra blog post from me, I hope that you don’t mind.

I’ve been a tad quiet recently because my recovery has been set right back.

My daughter unknowingly brought home a nasty virus with her when she returned home from school about two weeks ago.

What would normally would have been a slight cold etc completely floored me. I was forced to retreat back to bed.

I really hated having to retreat to bed because I wanted to be out and about and I had plans to do ‘stuff’.

I’m now out of bed but I’m coughing a lot and I can’t get my stats above 94 to 96. I’m also experiencing the return of the stabbing pains.

Yes I know that I should go back to the hospital and I will do when I’m financially able to do so. Shite happens and I’ve got to learn…

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Team Biden’s mood changes dramatically as vote counts shift | TheHill


Joe Biden’s campaign breathed a sigh of relief Wednesday morning, as the Democratic nominee, in a dramatic turnabout, was able to overtake President Trump in key battleground states that could

Source: Team Biden’s mood changes dramatically as vote counts shift | TheHill

Social care challenge appears to be getting worse – By Silva Homes | Care Industry News


Indeed Social Care is in crisis and has been for many years, this is down to a number of factors

lack of Government investment
abysmal staff salaries
lack of care workers
unsocial hours
poor working conditions
no staff sick pay scheme
and many others

I put lack of Government investment at the top because if this was solved then some of the others could also be.

As to investment in social care, this has never been sufficient, but 10 years of austerity cuts and now COVID-19 have made the crisis very more serious.

So, lets look at social care, before 1970 social care was administered by a ‘mishmash’ of organisations

local authorities
charities
voluntary sector
health
and many others

But in 1970 the Government of the day decided to bring all social care to be administered by local authorities, but true to form, the Government did not provide anywhere near the funding that was required and over the years the gap from what funding is provided to what is actually required has been increasing.

Many Governments in the last few years have promised to solve the funding process and a considerable amount of the work required as already been done.

In fact, in the David Cameron Governments they were prepared to go ahead in 2015, but decided to defer until April 2020.

Now in April 2020 we were in the COVID-19 pandemic and still are, so was this the reason for no action, who knows.

But, urgent action needs to be taken, not just for care homes, but the whole of Social care which includes home care, respite, supported living, hospices for both children and adults as well as care homes.

Well some action has occurred for in July 2020, an advisor was appointed on the proposal for the NHS to take over social care.

So, action has been taken, but how is it proceeding, who knows?

Governments are ‘ace’ at putting proposals forward and creating working groups, but they are not good at putting proposals into action and thereby solve the crisis and they could well be lost in the ‘black hole’ of Government.

To ensure actions are finalised, I created the petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care, https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care.

Please consider looking at the petition and, if you agree, please sign and share.

Should you require more information this can be found here.

 

 

Source: Social care challenge appears to be getting worse – By Silva Homes | Care Industry News

Why Is Basic Decency Towards Learning Disabled People Remarkable?


I agree, unfortunately caring and carers with regards to Social Care does not get a good press and the Governments attitude to Social Care goes a long way to put social Care in not a good light.

But for those who have a need for Social Care it is a very important lifeline.

As to doing your duty being treated as exceptional, well unfortunately this appears to be so as there are so many examples of bad care and in some instances very bad care.

Winterbourne was mentioned and even if this was the exception, then that would be bad, but it is not the exception, for bad care happens daily.

But a lot of it goes unreported as those in need of care and their family are scared of losing the care they have, no matter how bad it is.

I facilitate a Learning Disability Carers group and when the carers are talking I heard some instances of bad care, but they do not wish to allow me to take it further as they have been advised that the care would be withdrawn if they do, leaving them with no care at all.

I am a carers representative on our local Learning Disabilities Partnership Board and I have request a presentation from the Council run inspection teak, who should be inspecting Care Providers, for I believe they are not looking deeply enough into actual care delivery.

As to the CQC, I feel they spend to much time on looking at records, for anything can be written down, which may or may not mirror the actual care delivery.

So, I will start with the local council team and then ask for the CQC to present.

Care is in crisis for a large number of reasons, of which funding is a major concern.

For social Care has never been sufficiently funded from 1970, when it was brought under the control of local Authorities, and well before 1970. Then we had 10 years of austerity and now COVID-19 making the crisis even worse.

The reference to 1970 was when Social Care when brought under the control of Local Authorities (LAs) for before that it was a ‘mishmash’ of sources. Some LAs, but others included Charities, voluntary organisations, health and many others.

But as well as Funding there is

insufficient staff
abysmal pay
poor working conditions
unsocial hours
insufficient time
lack of training and skills
and others.

To many people caring is seen as an unskilled profession, well, if it is done badly then it is, but to provide good quality care is is far from it.

For, as we all are, persons in need of care are individuals and not objects, for they have feelings, they have choices, may need emotional support, routine to be followed, knowledge of a persons conditions, such as dementia, learning disabilities, autism and many others and in most cases a mixture of conditions.

So, in caring you can not, or should not, assume that caring for one person will be exactly the same as the next one and could need to change on a daily basis, or even more frequently.

So, it is a very skilled profession, for which the salary is nowhere sufficient, as caring has been left so short for far too long. Government promises have been broken so many times and social care has been left to sink, well sinking is not infinite and will come to a base from which it will not recover.

That base is very near and in some instances has been reached.

Action was urgently required, yesterday and certainly today, for tomorrow could well be too late.

Support for my petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care,

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care

Same Difference

In late July 2019, I tweeted asking families with autistic or learning disabled children to share their experience of “sparkling” actions by health and social care professionals. I was writing a book about how professionals could make a difference in the lives of children and their families, and the manuscript was woefully negative.

The tweets started appearing and the thread grew across the next few weeks. They included extraordinary examples of what I came to call “pockets of brilliance”. An administrator who included pug memes in the appointment letters for a dog-loving young patient. Professionals who were prepared to sit on the stairs so a child could stay in their bedroom during a visit. The GP who told one mother: “I don’t know very much about autism, but I promise you that I will do all I can to learn.” Another GP who rang a mother in the evening after…

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Fly into Caring


Coffey again lets her mind let loose, but in reality the crisis in the Aviation professions and the Care profession should not be used as a matter of flippancy as they should both be taken seriously.

Yes, the job situation in the aviation professions is the current lack of jobs due to COVID-19 and its effect on the economy , while in the care profession the job situation is the abundance of job vacancies due to Government underinvestment, working conditions and the ever extending market for people needing care.

Within care it is not just people fitting in for they need to have the expertise to care, listen to the person for whom they are caring for and proceed within the limitations of the cared for persons choice.

It is not that ‘one fits all’ for the persons in need of care will have a multitude of reasons why care is needed and some of these reasons could change on a day to day basis, or even within the day. There is never enough time allocated in the care package to fully extend to all the persons needs, as in short visits of 15 mins to 1 hour could mean that there is a choice required to whether, dressing, toileting, eating and drinking, emotional support and others is provided and which are not.

So, flippancy is not the order of the day for each area, aviation and care the need to a large extent is massive Government financial investment, which is not forthcoming, well, certainly not for care.

For, within care the Government intentions appear to be to enhance deaths, for it was in the situation of hospital discharges from hospitals into care homes. But deaths could be the result in any areas of care, be it, home care, respite, hospices, supported living, etc.

This situation within care has been the case, well before COVID-19, but COVID-19 is just another catalyst for care to cope with.

Care, (Social Care) is in a very serious crisis and that is the reason I created the petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care, https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care

If more information is required please see,

https://1drv.ms/w/s!Aq2MsYduiazgoBjtY1Dpe14ktF4j?e=sJYSLV

You may not, currently, require Social Care, but, sooner or later, you may well do so and if the crisis is not solved, then the Social Care you then require may not be there.

Govt Newspeak

DWP chief Therese Coffey has suggested that sacked cabin crew should go work in care homes. She said: it might not be their ‘dream job’ but it could be ‘very useful’ as thousands of aviation workers face an uncertain future she has prompted fury by suggesting sacked cabin crew can retrain as carers.

she hasn’t been on the foodbank diet recently!

Therese Coffey claimed thousands of airline staff made redundant after planes were grounded and international travel ground to a halt in the coronavirus crisis should switch careers.

She told The Spectator: “I want to encourage them to perhaps go into teaching or go to college and to be the people who train the next lot of people who are going to do those jobs.” She added: “How do we help draw out of them the transferable skills that they have, and that could be working in social care?

“It…

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