Dan Scorer, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Mencap, said
“Even before the coronavirus came, many people with a learning disability had serious problems getting the dental care they needed; coronavirus has made this so much worse. We already knew that untreated oral health conditions were causing serious issues for people with a learning disability, including putting people at risk of very serious chest infections or hurting themselves because they are in distress. Coronavirus has made this situation worse and left many people with a learning disability in lots of pain. The Government must take action quickly to help people get the treatment they need and stop anyone else suffering.”
You can find out more information about Healthwatch England's report here: https://www.healthwatch.co.uk/news/2020-12-09/dentistry-and-impact-covid-19
For further information or to arrange an interview with a Mencap spokesperson or case study, please contact Mencap’s media team on: firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7696 5414 (including out of hours).
Notes to editors
There are approximately 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.
For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact Mencap’s Freephone Learning Disability Helpline on 0808 808 1111 (10am-3pm, Monday-Friday) or email email@example.com.
What is a learning disability?
- A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability which can cause problems with everyday tasks – for example shopping and cooking, or travelling to new places – which affects someone for their whole life;
- Learning disability is not a mental illness or a learning difficulty, such as dyslexia. Very often the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used interchangeably with ‘learning disability’;
- People with a learning disability can take longer to learn new things and may need support to develop new skills, understand difficult information and engage with other people. The level of support someone needs is different with every individual. For example, someone with a severe learning disability might need much more support with daily tasks than someone with a mild learning disability.