Throughout the pandemic we have experienced first-hand the significant risk COVID-19 poses to people with learning disabilities and our colleagues who support them.
Public Health England have said that the COVID-19 death rate for people with learning disabilities is over four times higher than for others. We believe this is mostly due to well-known healthcare inequalities.
This is simply unacceptable. Today we have written to government, urging them to prioritise vaccination for people with learning disabilities. Please now join us by writing to your MP.
Use the template below to write to your MP about the higher death rate from Covid-19 for people with learning disabilities and why they should be prioritised in the vaccination programme.
You can find out who your MP is and their contact information via: members.parliament.uk
If you live in Wales you can write to your local Welsh Assembly Member. You can find out who your local Welsh assembly member is here.
Please personalise the letter with your thoughts and experiences. This will help your letter stand out and will give your MP more understanding of what the issues are.
Here is an easy read explanation.
Dear [Insert MP or Welsh Assembly Member name],
I am writing to you as my representative to share my concern about the impact of coronavirus on people who have a learning disability.
Research from Public Health England has shown that the rate of death from the virus for people who have a learning disability is at least 4 times higher than it is for the general population. It also shows that people who have a learning disability are dying from coronavirus at a younger age than the general population, and more likely around 6 times higher. And yet people with a learning disability do not figure highly on the government’s vaccination priority list.
[Insert information about why this is important to you – for example, you have a learning disability; your loved one has a learning disability; you support people who have a learning disability; you’re a health professional. You might want to share what you know about the impact COVID-19 has had on people who have a learning disability].
I am asking you to call on the government to give more priority to people who have a learning disability as the vaccination programme is started. This includes:
- Using the infrastructure provided by the learning disability register in primary care and other tools to identify people who have a learning disability and offer vaccination.
- Providing accessible information about the vaccine to support decision-making and to support people who may struggle to tolerate vaccination due to their disability.
These measures will help to stop preventable deaths from coronavirus and will tackle some of the serious inequalities people who have a learning disability have experienced during the pandemic. For example, there have been reports of wrongful use of Do Not Resuscitate Orders being used for people who have a learning disability.
Prioritisation could help to ensure that people at significant risk from COVID-19 are protected.
[Insert your name]