CEO Update 15th January 2021
A single vaccination jab can provide approximately 83% protection against Covid-19. What a reassuring and encouraging position for 14 million people in the UK, including our staff who are, or who might be, in contact with people we support. The Government’s has rightly recognised the importance of social care and has given us priority access.
Gradually increasing numbers of employees across Autism at Kingwood are accessing the vaccine, with many more waiting for their booked appointment dates throughout January. It is frustratingly slower than I would hope, as different local authorities set-up their local administration processes, but I’m hopeful that Oxfordshire will be releasing their vaccine access route shortly.
The weekly PCR swab testing for frontline staff is proving very helpful to minimise transmission. We have three members of staff in Oxfordshire who have had positive Covid tests; one person in Berkshire has tested positive; and a further 2 self-isolating as a precautionary measure. We have no new or on-going cases of Covid-19 amongst people we support.
Following an independent review commissioned in October 2017 a number of changes are being proposed to the Mental Health Act. The Mental Health Act sets out when someone can be detained in hospital, sometimes against their wishes. Amongst other things, the changes aim to ensure that people are detained for shorter periods of time (only when absolutely necessary) and that there is a reduction in the reliance on specialist inpatient services for autistic people. To find out more please read https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/reforming-the-mental-health-act/reforming-the-mental-health-act-summary
Finally thank you to the parents and relatives who attended the online Family & Carers meeting this week. Zoom is an excellent way to share information and keep in touch especially with people spread across the five counties where we provide services. We will be setting up more meetings throughout the year, with local management teams also.