PHE report on Covid-19 learning disability death rate - Avenues response


It is no surprise that people with learning disabilities had a higher mortality rate during the first wave of the pandemic; they are commonly faced with complex health conditions that make them more vulnerable to secondary illnesses.

But given that this vulnerability is well-established, we should all be asking why more wasn’t done to protect this group of people. They were not prioritised and testing in residential care homes came woefully late, with tragic consequences that are reflected in the Public Health England report. We are still desperate for more thorough testing for people we support in the community. We know the number of deaths could, and should, have been significantly smaller.

People with learning disability are entitled to decent lives, with decent life expectancy just like all of us. The continuing lack of urgency, and heart-breaking consequences for these people and their families, is just not acceptable.

There has to be robust, regular testing for these vulnerable people, wherever they live, and of course those dedicated and highly-skilled staff who support them. 

Jo Land, Avenues Group Chief Executive.

Jo Land