Focusing on the impact of new hospital discharge emergency measures, Healthwatch and the British Red Cross' report highlights that many respondents did not receive a recommended follow-up visit and assessment at home after discharge from hospital, while some people felt their discharge was rushed with a significant number feeling unprepared to leave hospital. For people with a learning disability – who already face serious health inequalities – these issues can be very serious.
Dan Scorer, Head of Policy at the learning disability charity Mencap, said:
“Rushed or inappropriate discharges can lead to complications or emergency readmissions. For people with a learning disability, who already face health inequalities, this can be very dangerous.
“Ultimately the rapid discharge policy is yet another example of guidance issued during the pandemic that has failed to consider the needs of people with a disability. With rising COVID-19 infection rates and our society facing crisis once again, the Government must make sure all guidance meets the needs of people with a learning disability – and people with a disability more widely - now and in the future.”
For more information and to view the report, visit: https://www.healthwatch.co.uk/news/2020-10-27/hospital-discharge-must-be-improved-manage-covid-19-second-peak
For further information or to arrange interviews, contact Mencap’s media team on:
- 020 7696 5414 (including out of hours).
Notes to editors
There are 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 (8am-6pm, Monday-Friday) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.