Anne Bygrave, Operations Director of the Disabilities Trust, commented on the recent report from Public Health England (PHE) which reveals the coronavirus death rate among those with a learning disability was 30 times higher in the 18-34 age group:

“As a leading provider of care for people living with autism and physical disabilities, we were saddened to hear about the significant death toll from coronavirus in people living with these conditions.

“The Trust has consistently called for more guidance throughout the pandemic to support the sector in protecting vulnerable adults with disabilities. We cannot continue to provide blanket guidance which doesn’t appreciate the needs of those with autism and learning difficulties.

“Care for those with learning disabilities was already under funded, with social providers across the country having to make difficult decisions to provide the best quality care. This challenging environment has been exacerbated by the current pandemic, and whilst The Disabilities Trust continues to work hard to provide expert care and support to those in our services, we still face significant challenges.

“Our heart and thoughts are with all of those who have lost someone in this pandemic. We urge government to deliver transformation and systemic change to ensure that each and every individual with autism or learning disabilities has access to the vital services and support that they need now and in the future.”