Coronavirus Information

This is a very worrying time for us all and we know that some of our families are concerned about how their children/relatives with a learning disability would cope if they needed hospital admission, especially as patients do not seem to be allowed to have family members with them.

Copied below is some useful information from Oxford University Hospitals which ‘Down’s Syndrome Oxford’ are very happy to share with you. If you scroll to the bottom of this page, there is also a link to a hospital passport to fill in, which would be very helpful to hospital staff who might be caring for a child or adult with a learning disability.

There is also information available on the Royal National Mencap website:

Since our email about hospitalization yesterday we have received some important extra information from Rowena Roberton, nurse practitioner for children with Down’s syndrome at the John Radcliffe hospital.  She’s been in touch with Stephanie Ross, adult learning disability nurse, Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) who has confirmed that:

“The visitor restrictions will not directly apply to carers. As an organisation, we value the important role of family carers and support workers to provide care and advocate for the people they care for, and view this role as different to visitors. We will continue to work with carers and ward staff to assess individuals needs at this time, and establish what is required to meet needs and minimise the risk of the spread of COVID-19.

“The Learning Disability Liaison Nurse team can support in identifying needs and how we can best meet them. We appreciate that the availability of family carers and support workers will be changing as the current situation unfolds, and each situation will be different. Having Hospital Passports and care plans ready to bring in will be very helpful.”

Stephanie Ross is happy to answer any questions. She can be reached on 01865 743324 or 07795 120853. Another helpful contact could be adult learning disability epilepsy nurse, Jackie Roberts. Her number is 01865 221137.

Stephanie Ross has asked for the Learning Disability (LD) team to be contacted if an adult is admitted into the OUH and they will support the wards in making sure the patient’s needs are met. They are available Monday to Friday.

Things are changing all the time and being reviewed but at the moment they are welcoming carers for patients with a learning disability. It is great to see there is a LD team who have a presence in the trust and will be able to support families during this time.

Just to reassure parents or carers with under-age children with Down’s syndrome: as with adults, OUH are allowing one parent/carer per patient.

With best wishes,
DSO Trustees