• Kate on The Impact of COVID-19 on Autistic People in the United Kingdom Final report

    Kate Allen Chief Executive

     

    I am pleased to share that the member of staff with Covid is faring well and not experiencing too many unpleasant symptoms. There are no new cases this week amongst people we support or staff.

    And to reassure relatives and carers, whilst measures have eased considerably across the country, our practice remains as stringent as previously. The only significant change is the guidance from Public Health England and Local Authorities that some social care staff may be allowed to work even after receiving a self-isolation notification if (and it is a big IF) the person they usually support would suffer serious consequences as a result of staff shortages and a number of other conditions are met, including daily negative testing. In those instances a risk assessment must be completed and signed off by the local authority and Kingwood.

    Unfortunately we have seen directly the impact Covid has had on people we support over the last 18 months. Although some autistic people experienced less anxiety as social expectations reduced and settings became more peaceful, others struggled considerably with the sudden change in routines and restricted access to education, employment and normal day to day activities. For many the changing guidance and rules from the government was particularly confusing and we saw the impact of all these factors on the mental health on both people we support and those caring for and about them.  Keen to identify learning and measures that could be undertaken to help now, the National Institute for Health Research funded a fast track report.  Written by Professor Martin Knapp and Dr Sarah Pais, interviews with Autism at Kingwood contributed to the findings which include some of the experiences of people we support. The final report has been published and can be found here.

    Hopefully you will have a date in your diaries for 9th September whereby we intend to have an outdoor get together at Path Hill, Goring. BBQ, a few games and most importantly a chance to see each other. People we support, their relatives, employees and trustees are all invited, taking into consideration any at the time guidance from the Government to ensure a Covid safe environment.

    And just before I finish – being so typically British I had to restrain myself from starting the update with a comment on the weather! But it cannot go unmentioned. We have gone from heat wave to central heating! (although that might just be me – I don’t like to be chilly!) Let’s hope summer returns soon and makes up for it with a wonderful September and Path Hill party.

    Kate.

    Abi Cowley

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