Latest News


Roadmap out of Lockdown

04th March 2021

The Prime Minister announced the plans to ease lockdown in England, a few weeks ago, which, by way of reminder, we summarise below. Obviously, the dates are provisional as they may change depending upon the rate of infection.

8th March:  All schools reopen for all age groups. Work from home guidance remains unchanged.

29th March:  Outdoor sports facilities (e.g. golf courses) reopen.

12th April:  Hospitality business can reopen for outdoor service. Non-essential shops can re-open, plus hairdressers, zoos, theme parks, drive in cinemas, libraries, and indoor leisure facilities.

17th May:  Pubs, bars, and restaurants reopen for indoor service. Hotels, cinemas, theatres and other businesses can reopen.

21st June:  Everything reopens, including nightclubs.

The government will review the need for face masks and social distancing, (which will influence work from home guidance).

Roadmap out of lockdown

25th February 2021

A 4-step plan to ease lockdown in England has been announced.

From 8 March

Pupils return to face-to-face education in school and further education in England. Pupils in Wales and Scotland returned on 22 February. Wraparound childcare, such as after-school clubs, can reopen to enable parents to work, attend education, access medical care or attend a support group.

Outdoor recreation, such as a picnic, is allowed. This can be on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.

Indoor visits to care homes start again for a single named visitor.

PPE for unpaid carers

23rd February 2021

PPE is now available via Local Authorities for those providing unpaid care to someone they do not live with. This offer is available to cover needs for PPE that have arisen due to COVID-19. If you would normally use PPE because of the nature of the care you provide, you should continue to access it through your normal routes.

From the guidance;


Personal protective equipment (PPE)

The government are currently rolling out an offer of free PPE for COVID-19 needs to unpaid carers who do not live with the person or people they care for. This will be available until the end of June 2021, and will be available from local authorities (LAs) and local resilience forums (LRFs).

See personal protective equipment (PPE): local contacts for providers for details of LAs and LRFs who are currently making PPE available to unpaid carers. You can contact them to request PPE.

This offer is available to cover needs for PPE that have arisen due to COVID-19. If you would normally use PPE because of the nature of the care you provide, you should continue to access it through your normal routes.

If you live with the person or people you care for, it is not currently recommended that you wear PPE unless advised to do so by a healthcare professional, like a GP or nurse.

Recommended PPE for unpaid carers who do not live with the person or people they care for

If you do not live with the person or people you care for, it is recommended that you wear PPE when delivering care.

It is essential that PPE is worn correctly in order to reduce the risk of transmission. PPE should be put on and removed at least 2 metres away from the person you are caring for.

See guidance on how to put on and take off PPE correctly.

The type of PPE you should wear will depend on the type of care you provide. The type of mask you have been given will be clearly stated on the box.


Survey for people and families who have a personal health budget and other people who support them, e.g. disabled people's user led organisations

23rd February 2021

Survey for people and families who have a personal health budget and other people who support them, e.g. disabled people's user led organisations

Personal health budgets and the legal Right to Have

- people with learning disabilities, autistic people or people with learning disabilities who are also autistic

NHS England has written lots of things to help make sure people understand how to make sure personal health budgets work. These are called the delivery support tools

 A charity called In Control has been asked by NHS England and NHS Improvement to look at the delivery support tools for personal health budgets, focusing on the legal Right to Have a personal health budget.

They want to check how helpful the tools are to make sure that people with learning disabilities, autistic people and people with learning disabilities who are also autistic are included in the legal Right to Have a personal health budget.

As part of this, we want to hear the views of a wide range of people involved in the world of personal health budgets and find out what their experience of both getting and being offered a personal health budget is - what helps and what gets in the way?

Views of people with learning disabilities needed for CQC Closed Cultures Review

23rd February 2021

Views of people with learning disabilities needed for CQC Closed Cultures Review

The CQC are reviewing their inspection process. They have asked the RRN to collect information from people with lived experience to inform their work. They want to hear from as many people as they can about what they think is important for CQC inspectors to do during inspections and what they should be looking for. So far the survey lacks the voice of people with learning disabilities.

Please send any questions and completed surveys to Alexis Quinn at


Helping the NHS to improve services and treatments for patients – can you help?

08th February 2021

Healthwatch are working with NHS England to undertake some research on what patients, current users, non-users and those with long-term conditions, with specific health issues including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, mental health and genetic factors, think about getting involved with clinical research.

This research will be really valuable in helping the NHS develop new medicines and learn more about better health and care for the future.
We want to know how patients and the public feel about clinical research, how they can get involved in research, what digital access they might need and if there are any barriers in place for involvement.

You can take here:

Please feel free to share with anyone else you know who might like to take part!

Thank you for your support.

NHS and care services - how you can help change

08th February 2021

Disability Rights UK

We are writing to you today to alert you to the ‘Tell Us About Your Care’ reporting webpage and how you can use it to share your experiences during lockdown of the NHS and care services.

Disabled people and their families have suffered more than most during the current pandemic. The regulator for the NHS and care services in England – The Care Quality Commission (CQC) – have set up a webpage where disabled people and their families can provide feedback directly, and anonymously to the CQC to help them plan future services that take the needs of disabled people much more seriously.  Once you have provided your feedback to the CQC we urge you to please share this email with other people you may know to do the same. The following are a few examples, you may think of more ways you have been affected over the past year – the CQC has asked to hear about all experiences of the NHS and care services in England:

Did your hospital manage to maintain your treatment schedule during lockdown?

When you contacted your GP surgery, was the receptionist understanding of your situation?

When you received your Covid-19 vaccine, did the people there respond to your needs?

Have you been able to get prescriptions easily?

What were your feelings about the treatment you or a member of your family received when in hospital?

Have you experienced any issues with getting appointments with your physiotherapist?

Any opportunity for the voice of disabled people to be heard is to be welcomed, and we hope that you will report your experiences – both good and bad - on the Tell Us About Your Care webpage.

Kind regards.

Disability Rights UK.

Launch of a new project for DAD

11th January 2021

We are delighted to launch a new project focusing on positive travel.

With funding from LNER, the Positive Travel Project will support disabled people and carers of all ages to tackle the barriers they face in accessing transport and travel in a variety of ways.

The project will offer a range of options including; individual travel training, group access to social and leisure opportunities for disabled people and families regardless of age or impairment, group participation to tackle issues affecting disabled people.

All activities will be fully accessible with the right support to enable people to participate.

We are looking forward to working with LNER over the coming months and supporting people to;

  • to access public transport who have not done so before
  • to be able to travel independently as a result of travel training
  • have access to leisure and social opportunities and have fun
  • develop new skills, learn new things, identify and tackle issues that affect them and have share them with the wider community.

Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for more updates.

Vaccine information for people with learning impairments

05th January 2021

From NHS England Learning Disability and Autism Programme

The format of the film is our adviser Katie Matthews, asking our national clinical director Dr Roger Banks a series of questions about vaccinations:

The film is 3 ½ minutes  long so we have also produced social media clips for some of the questions so you can link back to the main film.

Here is a download link to the 5 social media clips

Personal Protective Equipment animation and resources

01st May 2020



What PPE to wear when providing care out of hospital

This short animation shows you what personal protective equipment to wear when providing care (including caring for extremely vulnerable and shielded people) in care homes or caring for people in their own homes.  It is based on Public Health England’s recently published guidance:-


Putting on and removing PPE – a guide for care homes

This Public Health Education video includes a flowchart for care workers providing care to residents to identify whether there is a need for PPE, PPE recommendations for care home staff, and some frequently asked questions on the use of PPE in care homes


Website for further resources

The above animation and video and further resources/links that may be of help to people providing care out of hospital are all grouped in this one website.  Under the “resources” section are other videos including how to take someone’s temperature, guides to help with your personal wellbeing, along with a training package on Covid-19 infection prevention and control.  You can also download posters on how to take off PPE and on the “useful links” tab, there are quick links to other websites for further information/support eg E-learning for Healthcare:-

Direct Payments Help Line

30th March 2020

We know that this is a very worrying time for disabled people, particularly Direct Payment users.

We are putting in a range of support to be able to continue to support Direct Payment users at this time. If you use a Direct Payment and live in Darlington, Middlesbrough or Redcar and have concerns or queries our Independent Living Advisors and Lead Workers are available to support you by telephone and email.

You can contact us on 01325 360524 or 01325 489999 or email

Please be aware we are experiencing high numbers of call and queries at the moment so please be patient but we will respond to all.


Free Coronavirus Video

23rd March 2020

Free Coronavirus Awareness eLearning Video from IHASCO

In this short free Coronavirus eLearning video, IHASCO provide practical advice to raise awareness of what Coronavirus is, how to reduce the risk of the virus spreading and what to do if you’re showing symptoms.

This free resource is for anyone wishing to find out more about Coronavirus and how to minimise its impact.

Raising Awareness: Watch the 8 minute video below and share with friends, family and staff!

Fear of the unknown and feeling like we have a lack of control certainly contributes to further panic. But what’s important is learning what there is to know at the moment, and how this information can help us to take preventive measures, whilst also knowing what to do if further action is needed.

Thankfully, there are a few things that can be done.

With this in mind, iHASCO felt it is their duty to use their expertise and resources to provide a free online awareness video about the Coronavirus.

Here is a link to the video

Daily Updates Coronavirus

13th March 2020

Daily updates about the Coronavirus

There has been lots of information on the News about Coronavirus.

This easy read information tells you more about what Coronavirus is, how you get Coronavirus, the symptoms and what you should do if you think you have Coronavirus.

You can find daily updates on the Government website

or you can find more information on the NHS website

These updates are not easy read so you may need some support to read the information. Link to an easy read version


How you can support us

As a local organisation we very much rely on the support of our local community, and continue to support people flexibly to have greater choice and control and remove the barriers that disabled people and children experience in their everyday lives. We support over 2,000 people every year.  But we need your help.

Click here to find out how you can support us

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