Due to the current situation with COVID-19, all our events and coffee mornings up to the end of May have been postponed.  We will use this page to post regular official guidance and other information which you may find useful.  Please don’t struggle alone during these uncertain times, sometimes a quick text chat can be enough to lift you for a while; if you are on Facebook, there are a few support groups, including those set up specifically to offer help to people who are struggling to get essential items.

The latest guidance is to stay home wherever possible – you can find the  full guidance on staying at home and away from others HERE

Useful Documents if someone with LD/Autism is admitted to hospital.  Added 10/5/2020

Hospital Passport

“This Is Me, My Care Passport”   This passport has been developed for Sunderland clinical commissioning group by The Learning Disability Liaison Nurse Team based at City Hospitals Sunderland. Find the full passport HERE

Grab & Go Guide

The Grab and Go guide has been designed in partnership with people with learning disabilities, families and nurses.  It gives the information that doctors and nurses will need if you go to hospital because of COVID-19 and, for example, are struggling to breathe.  It is not a replacement for the everyday, detailed hospital passport above. You should update your hospital passport and take that to hospital along with the Grab and Go guide if you need to be admitted. The Guidance can be found HERE

Government clarifies guidance on exercise

The full guidance on what you can and can’t do regarding exercise can be found HERE .  

15. Can I exercise more than once a day if I need to due to a significant health condition?

You can leave your home for medical need. If you (or a person in your care) have a specific health condition that requires you to leave the home to maintain your health – including if that involves travel beyond your local area – then you can do so. This could, for example, include where individuals with learning disabilities or autism require specific exercise in an open space two or three times each day – ideally in line with a care plan agreed with a medical professional.

Even in such cases, in order to reduce the spread of infection and protect those exercising, travel outside of the home should be limited, as close to your local area as possible, and you should remain at least 2 metres apart from anyone who is not a member of your household or a carer at all times.

Below is a joint letter from Northumbria Police and Newcastle Gateshead CCG relating to the guidance.

Support advice letter police CCG re Coronavirus April 2020

NHS Visitor Guidance

With the majority of hospital visiting suspended, NHS have provided guidance for exceptional circumstances where one visitor –an immediate family member or carer –will be permitted to visit.

Find it HERE


You can also find information from Contact around hospital admissions, and hospital passports HERE

Some useful resources for LD and/or ASD

Information for families and individuals from Learning Disabilities England.

Find it HERE

Guidance for people receiving direct payments

Advice for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support.

Find it HERE

Information Booklet

This information pack aims to support parents of children with an ASD or LD during this tricky time and will hopefully make things a little more manageable.

The booklet was produced by Child Health Professionals in Cardiff & Vale UHB.  Find it HERE

Need support or want to help?

Information from Sunderland City Council on getting help or volunteering your time during the current crisis.

NHS Letter

in relation to the use of the Clinical Frailty Scale(CFS) and the use of do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR) with younger patients, those with a stable long term physical need, learning disability or autism.

nhs letter re CFS.DNR

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State  for Children and Families, Vicky Ford MP,  has written an open letter to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, their parents, families and others who support them. The letter signposts key Covid-19 guidance published over the past week.

You can view the full letter HERE

Information for families with disabled children from Contact.

Up to date info from Contact can be found HERE

Information on benefits during the current crisis HERE

Over the next few days I’ll add further links on where to find support, online activities such as zoo live cams, free books and other resources.   Please email if you have any links to share.