People with a learning disability and autism are more likely to accept a lower standards of care as a result of coronavirus, the CQC has found.
More than a quarter (27%) of survey respondents with learning disabilities and autistic people had noticed a lower standard of safety when accessing health and social care during the COVID-19 pandemic – more than double the average.
At the same time, the CQC found that people with a learning disability or autism were more reluctant to give negative feedback on their care in case it increases pressure on staff or services.
The CQC released a report in October 2020 to address issues around closed cultures which found that many people with a learning disability and autism being looked after in unsuitable hospital environments and were subject to high levels of restrictive practice. The CQC stressed that people with a learning disability and autism should either be cared for either in their own home, in their communities, with as much choice as possible.
Deputy chief inspector of Adult Social Care, Debbie Ivanova, (pictured) who is leading a programme to transform regulation of services for people with learning disabilities and autism, said: “Listening to the lived experience of people with a learning disability and/or autistic people has to be at the centre of how we decide to regulate and improve care. It is so important to hear their voices and allow our approach to be shaped by this in order to properly address the challenges of closed cultures and inadequate care.
“Families and people with lived experience keep telling us that it’s so much harder to speak up in services that care for people with a learning disability or autistic people, and we’ve recognised this. The work I am leading will be about improving the way we can hear from people and making sure that their experiences drive the action we take.”
The CQC’s Because We All Care campaign reached its latest landmark date yesterday with a particular focus on encouraging people with a learning disability and autistic people to share their feedback and experiences on care with CQC.
People can give feedback on their experiences of care, or those of someone they care for, on the CQC website or through their local Healthwatch. Local Healthwatch organisations can also help you with advice and information to access the support you need.