ARC England update from Lisa Lenton

Over the last week we have continued to work closely with Public Health England and sector colleagues to address the lack of specific guidance regarding PPE usage when supporting people with a learning disability and/or autism. 

We have heard many concerns from members in terms of the potential overuse of precious PPE supplies and the impact on people who use services when support staff are wearing masks; we know that seeing support staff dressed in PPE could raise anxiety levels of people who access support and we have sent in lots of feedback to PHE regarding this. 

PHE's position is that they are looking to find a way through this by developing some information on interpreting the PPE guidance, rather than have different guidance all together. They are working within the bounds of advice on infection control but appreciate that greater clarity and nuanced guidance is needed.

So where have we got to? Well, there has been some draft narrative produced to go into Care Home and Home Care guidance that will be updated and re-published; feedback on this has been given and I know PHE are looking to now move at pace and get those paragraphs inserted and signed off. We are hopeful this will be done over the next few days and published by Monday at the latest (we are told).

There are concerns that although the home care guidance is intended to cover supported living too, that quite rightly, there are stark differences in being supported in those settings and in the people who receive this type of support. With that in mind, PHE have also started a piece of work specifically for Supported Living settings. This is in train and we have impressed upon PHE that it is needed urgently. As soon as we have any further information, we will of course share with you.

Take care and stay safe,


ARC Member Conference CallsARC England logo
This week's call featured updates and discussion about specific guidance for all types of learning disability and autism care services, indemnity and access to testing and retesting. The ARC team and I will be taking these issues forward and we will report back to our members on any developments.

The next ARC conference call is on Wednesday 3rd June 2.30-3.30pm. Email your questions to Liz Collins at

Our members are learning disability and autism social care organisations and their ARC England benefits include regular sector updates, weekly member conference calls, and discount on training, qualifications and Disclosure checks. If you aren't a member yet check out our membership benefits and join today.

Small dog smilingARC member Reach Learning Disability launches virtual fundraising pet show 
Reach Learning Disability, a charity that supports adults with learning disabilities, has launched a virtual pet and wildlife show to help boost funds. Reach are looking for entries in a variety of categories in including Funniest Photo and Pet That Looks Most Like Its Owner.
Read more about Reach Learning Disability's fundraising pet show >

Autistic people may not receive the treatment they need for likely PTSD
New research has found that autistic people are more likely to experience post-traumatic symptoms after events that would not "count" as traumatic in some current diagnostic systems. 
Read the full story at Learning Disability Today >

Woman with learning disability can have teeth removed, court rules
A judge has approved a plan which could allow a woman from Lincolnshire with a severe learning disability to have all of her teeth removed.
Read the full story at BBC News >

Eleven-year-old from Chesterfield shares his experience of living with autism through poetry
Kenzi Jupp created a handful of poems about his feelings to help others during lockdown and they've gathered a bit of a following online. 
Watch the video at ITV News >

Social Care and COVID-19 Guidance and Resources

NICE to restart publishing draft and final (non-COVID) guidelines and quality standards from 1 June
Since mid-March, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have focused on supporting the health and care system with a new series of rapid COVID-19 related guidelines, and with other therapeutically-critical guidance.

As the NHS and wider health and care system starts to make arrangements for the next phase of its response to the pandemic, NICE plan a phased restart of publishing draft and final (non-COVID) guidelines and quality standards from 1 June.

A new online platform to fast-track recruitment into the adult social care sector has been launched by the UK government.
Developed and licensed from Cera Care, Join Social Care, is a recruitment platform that allows candidates to record a video interview and access free training supported by Skills for Care before starting employment.
Read the full story at Digital Health >

Coronavirus (Covid-19): providing home care
This document brings together guidance for social care staff, registered providers, local authorities and commissioners who support and deliver care to people in their own homes in England. It covers: personal protective equipment; shielding and care groups; hospital discharge and testing; government support for social care; and information collection and governance.
Read the Home Care guidance in full at > 

Coronavirus (Covid-19): antibody tests
The government has announced the start of a major new national antibody testing programme, with plans to provide antibody tests to NHS and care staff in England from the end of May. This guidance gives information on the programme. An accompanying infographic shows the differences between coronavirus tests.
Read the Antibody Test guidance in full at >

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme now live
If you’re an employer with fewer than 250 employees, you can now claim for coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). If you have a tax agent, they can also make claims on your behalf.
Check if you're eligible and make a claim at > 

Deaths from Covid-19 (coronavirus): how are they counted and what do they show?
Veena Raleigh, Kings Fund Senior Policy Fellow, examines the methods being used to count deaths from Covid-19 and discusses what the numbers to date show.
Read the full article at The King's Fund >
Social Care Blog

Allison Trimble, Kings FundAs we plan for recovery, how has Covid-19 affected our working relationships?
'Covid-19 has changed the balance of power in many teams... [with some people] left feeling frustrated, undermined, voiceless and side-lined.'

There are relational and cultural consequences of the way the health and care system has worked during the Covid-19 crisis. As the system begins to plan for recovery, Allison Trimble, Senior Leadership and Organisational Development Consultant at The Kings Fund, cautions that these consequences can’t be ignored.
Read Allison's blog >


NewARC Independent Advocacy workbook cover: Distance Learning: Level 2 Award Independent Advocacy
We are delighted to launch our new Independent Advocacy Level 2 Award Distance Learning Pack and accompanying Workbook. It is in an easy to follow format, including activities, scenarios and handouts, to help consolidate your knowledge and understanding whilst taking you through the learning outcomes of the award, with the support of your personally allocated assessor. 

The distance learning pack is ideal for anyone wanting to understand the basic principles of independent advocacy and its role. Email enquiries to
Full details about our distance learning Level 2 Award in Independent Advocacy > 

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