Find helpful information, advice and resources for people with learning disabilities and their families during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
Our ambition is for Wokingham Borough to be one of the best boroughs for adults and carers in need of support to live, where they feel safe, included and a key part of our community. Our adult social care strategy focusses on how we will work with our partners to prevent, reduce and delay the need for formal support and care and where possible to improve people’s health and wellbeing, focusing on prevention and self-help.
We are currently creating an approved list of providers for our home care and supported living services. The providers will support adults with disabilities and older people with eligible care needs to ensure that all residents receiving our care services are able to achieve their personal goals.
As part of this process, we want to hear from residents about their experiences of receiving care and support services for themselves and their families. Please take this short survey to help us understand your experiences and what is important to you.
Watch the video to find out what the vaccine is
Watch the NHS England and NHS Improvement film on vaccinations for people with a learning disability and autistic people.
The film describes what is a vaccine is, how vaccines are made, why you should get a vaccine, whether a vaccine make you ill and how to decide whether to have a vaccine.
Visit the NHS Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group website for information on the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination in the Berkshire West.
Walk through of the COVID vaccination centre at Reading’s Madejski Stadium
Watch Jane Thomson-Smith, Assistant Director of Quality and Nursing at Berkshire West CCG, do a walk through of the COVID vaccination centre at Reading’s Madejski Stadium.
The vaccination centre opened on Monday 22 February and has the capacity to deliver thousands of Covid vaccines each week.
Covid-19 vaccine - who gets it first?
- Read the Public Health England easy read guide to the Covid-19 vaccine
- Read mencap's easy read guide to speaking to your GP about the coronavirus vaccine
Photosymbols has produced this easy read poster on who gets the Covid-19 vaccine first. Further easy read and audio versions relating to the coronavirus and health matters can be found on the Keep Safe website.
On the 30 December the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JVCI) revised it recommendations in relation to unpaid carers. Visit the Contact for Family website for further information.
For further information visit the GOV.UK website to read the:
- Latest advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on the groups that should be prioritised for vaccination
- COVID-19 vaccination first phase priority groups
What does self-isolating mean?
Read photo symbols easy read guide to wearing a face covering to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
See a guide by Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust and the Community Infection Prevention and Control service on the dos and don't when wearing a face mask.
The World Health Organisation has producted a leaflet on how to wear a a medical face mask safely.
Visit the UK Government website for guidance on when to wear a face covering and how to make your own.
Clear face masks
The UK Government announced that 250,000 clear face masks are to be delivered to frontline NHS and social care workers to support better care for people who use lip-reading and facial expressions to communicate.
People who do not have to wear a face covering
Go to the UK Government website for information on people who are exempt from wearing face coverings.
Download an exemption card or badge from the UK Govement website.
Mask alert cards and medical alert cards
Carers and essential companions can download an alert card from the SEDS website explaining why they cannot wear a face mask because they are providing assistance to, someone who relies on lip reading to communicate. Medical alert cards are also available to download to help people with a disability or medical condition explain why they are unable to wear a mask or face covering.
Hidden Disabilities Sunflower
The Hidden Disabilities sunflower design is recongnised by many businesses and organisation. It indicates to people that you need additional support, help or a little more time.
The hidden disabilities website has sunflower face masks, face snood, face shields, hand sanitiser bottle and neoprene sleeves to purchase via their online store.
Please give me space’ social distancing cards or badges
If you have difficulties or concerns in maintaining social distancing you can go to the UK Government website and download a badge or card that lets others around you know that they need to pay attention and give you space.
From the 1 April 2021 clinically extremely vulnerable people are no longer advised to shield. For further information go to the UK Government website.
For information and guidance on shielding go to the following websites:
- Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
- GOV.UK - Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19
Read the Mencap guidance on helping you stay safe and well
Easy Read online have created an downloadable easy read version of Public Health England advice on the Coronavirus.
The Down Syndrome Association website has an easy read guide to what the Coronavirus is and how to stay safe.
The Learning Disability England website has links to key NHS information, social distancing, self-isolation
Go to the UK Government website for up to date information about Coronavirus including getting tested.
Easy read posters
Visit the Keep Safe website for helpful easy read information on matters related to coronavirus, the covid vaccine, support bubble, getting help if you are feeling unwell, getting a covid test and more.
Looking after your mental health and wellbeing
Read the Public Health England easy read guide looking after your feelings and your body.
The University of Glasgow with assistance from colleagues at the Universities of Lancaster and Warwick have developed a series of self help booklets to support people who have learning disabilities to express their feelings. The guides can be downloaded from the Scottish Commission for Learning Disability (SCLD) website.
Beyond Words have created a wordless stories called good days and bad days during lockdown. Which addresses social distancing, lockdown, mental health and daily routines. Go to the Beyond Words website to download the booklet.
Molehill Mountain – an app to help autistic people with anxiety
Molehill Mountain smartphone app aiming to help autistic adults understand and self-manage their own anxiety. The app has been developed by UK research charity Autistica and researchers at King’s College London with input from autistic people.
Further information about the App can be found on the King’s College London website.
The Royal Berkshire Hospital have created an easy read guide to tell you what will happen if you need to go for a test for coronavirus (COVID-19) at the hospital.
The following easy read guides have been created by the NHS on when you should get tested for coronavirus:
- Stay at home if you are told you might have coronavirus
You can find test and trace information in alternative formats, including BSL and large print on the Public Health England website.
The UK Governement have produced an easy read guide for people taking a coronavirus test at a GP with help from the staff.
Ambitious about Autism have created visual stories on home testing, going back to school and other covid-19 related matters.
Go to the Ambitious about Autism website for practical resources.
Read the National Development Team for Inclusion easy read information about advocacy and your rights during the coronavirus.
Visit the following websites for the information and advice:
The following websites have helpful information and resources:
- Down's Syndrome Associatation
- Beyond Words - wordless booklets
- Mencap - what may happen if you have to go to hospital, activity ideas and more
- The Challenging Behaviour Foundation
- The National Autistic Society
- The deaf health charity sign health
- Scope - has a arrange of information and advice from benefits to accessing food and essentials
Tips and advice for parents and carers
The Learning Disabilities Professional Senate have developed two resources for people with learning disabilities:
- Resources to support families / carers of people with learning disabilities through the Coronavirus restrictions
- Resources to use with people with learning disabilities through the Coronavirus restrictions
The Challenging Behaviour Foundation has developed a guide with tips and advice for parents and carers who are looking after a child or adult with serve learning disabilities at home during the COVID-19.
The social care institute for excellence have produced a useful COVID-19 guide for care staff supporting adults with learning disabilities or autistic adults.
CLASP are keeping in touch with their members through Zoom meeting, Facebook and a closed WhatsApp group.
You can also visit the CLASP website to find out more about the service and how you can become a member.
Promise Inclusion are available for practical and emotional support during these challenging times. Read the Promise Inclusion leaflet to for further information and contact details.
ASD Family Help
The Ark - Stay Up Late
The Ark are holding a Stay Up Late zoom video chat on Friday 29 May 2020 at 9.15pm. For further details contact The Ark via email: email@example.com
For further details about the Stay Up Late national campaign go to The Ark website
Friends@theArk Quarantine Club - Facebook group provides games, crafts, activities and a place to chat to others.
Go to our parks, play areas and open spaces around the Wokingham Borough directory listing to view a map of local parks and nature reserves.
Support for carers
Find out about support through The Wokingham Carers Hub (0118 324 7333), run by TuVida on behalf of Wokingham Borough Council. It provides a wealth of information. Its staff are highly trained in understanding carers’ needs, providing support, signposting you in the right direction as well as a host of online help groups and home visits.
The hidden carers free helpline (0800 133 7851), run by East Berkshire and Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Groups together with Signal4Carers, has been extended until the end of December. This is for those of you with caring responsibilities, but don’t recognise yourselves as a carer, so may be unaware there is help available.
You can also request an assessment in your own right if you’re caring for someone aged 18 or over by completing our online carers self-assessment.
Guidance for carers
Go to the UK Government website to read guidance from the Government for those who provide unpaid care to friends and family.
The Carers UK website has guidance for carers on being prepared and protecting someone you care for.
NHS online services
Visit the following NHS web pages to find out more about how you can get medical help and prescriptions online or over the phone:
Traverse have created an easy read leaflet about health appointments you might have at home using your computer or phone and how you can make the appointments work better for you.
Photosymbols have produced an easy read poster about what to do if you think you have coronavirus and can be downloaded on the Keep Safe website.
Co-op Health app - repeat prescriptions delivered to your home
The Co-op Health app connects people securely to their GP so they can automatically view and order their medications from their mobile phone. Home delivery is at no extra cost to them or the NHS.
To get a repeat prescriptions from Co-op Health, the person must:
- be 16 or over
- be registered with a GP in England
- have medication that’s on a repeat prescription
- have a delivery address in the UK or be able to collect your medication from a pharmacy in England
Visit the NHS website for further information.
NHS Accessible formats
The NHS has put together a range of resources about Coronavirus in accessible formats, including information in an easy read, picture vocabulary, videos, British Sign Language, podcasts and Makaton
To access these resources visit the NHS Health Education England Library and knowledge services website.
Public Health England
Public Health England has issued a range of advice, including:
- Advice for households with possible infections, visit the Public Health England website
- Advice on staying at home, visit the Public Health England website
- Cold weather and Covid-19
- Covid-19 and summer temperatures
Public Health for Berkshire
The Public Health for Berkshire website provides you with real-time information for your local area, plus national statistics.
Read the easy read guide to staying hydrated during the hot weather.
Hospital communication passport and supporting resources
The charity Include Me Too have produced a COVID-19 resource pack to help families prepare for admission to hospital. The pack includes:
- COVID-19 hospital communication passport
- COVID-19 history sheet
These documents can be download from the Include Me Too website, along with their all about me communication passport.
Royal Berkshire Hospital
Easy read guides about going to hospital
Mencap have created two resources about going to hospital:
- What happen if I have to go to hospital
- What happen if someone I know has to go to hospital
Visit the Mencap website to download these resources.
What do Acute liaison nurses do?
We aim to provide support and advice for people with a learning disability who access Frimley Park Hospital to receive medical care or treatment as well as to their family, carers, paid staff and acute staff.
This may include:
- Creating or providing easy read information
- Providing advice and support to the acute staff to meet the needs of people with a learning disability
- Encouraging and exploring reasonable adjustments to care when required
- Helping someone with a learning disability prepare for their hospital visit
- Providing training opportunities to acute staff regarding the needs of someone with a learning disability
- Providing advice around Mental Capacity Act including capacity assessments, best interest decisions and referring to Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCA)
- To help support the discharge process
- Sign post to other services as required
Read the Learning Disability Acute Liaison Service leaflet for contact details.
Easy read by Photosymbols
Watch the Optalis Supported Employment Team video to find out how the service has continued to support their customers during the pandemic.
For further information on the Optalis Supported Employment team go to their website.
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, you may be able to get support from Access to Work.
Access to Work can help with:
- Working from home
- Working at your normal workplace
- Or a combination of both.
If you are in need of extra help visit the Wokingham Borough Community Response to COVID-19 web page for support information.
You can also find information on the Citzens Advice Wokingham website which includes a frequently asked questions section.
Find local support
Visit the Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK website to search for a local group near you. Most of the groups can be accessed via social media such as Facebook or Twitter
You can also engage with your neighbourhood by registering with the Next Door website.
Co-op introduces gift card scheme for vulnerable customers
The Co-op supermarket group has launched a gift card scheme for those shielding or self-isolating and reliant on others to do their shopping or who are volunteering to help someone they know, including as part of a local support group.
By calling a dedicated Co-op phone line on 0800 029 4592, a gift card can be purchase which can be shared with friends, neighbours or volunteers to pay for shopping in their local Co-op store.
Services and organisations
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