Learning/intellectual disability and autism: transformation plan

The autism and learning/intellectual disability transformation plan 'Towards Transformation' sets out to ensure that progress is made in transforming Scotland for autistic people and people with learning/intellectual disabilities.

Responding to the Pandemic – What we have done since March 2020

Since the start of lockdown, the Scottish Government and COSLA have been working with our partners to understand how the pandemic is affecting people and to provide support. The Scottish Government, Local Government, Health and Social Care Partnerships, NHS Boards and the third and voluntary sectors all provide critical support to both individuals and organisations who deliver services and have continued to do so during the pandemic.

  • We have provided additional social care pandemic funding and commissioned the independent review of adult social care.
  • We have funded organisations through the Third Sector Wellbeing Fund to deliver essential support services throughout the height of lockdown.
  • Financial support is available for social care provider sustainability.
  • Health and Social Care Partnerships and Local Authorities have supported social care providers and implemented payment arrangements for the guidance on financial support arrangements for social care providers
  • We established a £500,000 fund to help local carer organisations transition to remote working so that they can continue to provide advice and emotional support, such as telephone counselling and online sessions.
  • We provided third sector investment of £450k to combat social isolation and to support national helplines, specifically for the benefit of autistic people, and/or people with learning/intellectual disabilities.
  • Scotland's National Wellbeing Hub for the health and social care workforce, now has a specific section with wellbeing resources for unpaid carers.
  • The Scottish Commission for people with Learning Disabilities, in collaboration with the University of Glasgow, the University of Warwick, the University of Oxford and Lancaster University, developed a suite of guided self-help resources for people with learning/intellectual disabilities to support their mental health and well-being during the pandemic.
  • We collaborated with the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory, National Records of Scotland and Public Health Scotland to access and analyse data on the impact of COVID-19 on people with learning/intellectual disabilities.
  • Inspiring Scotland has supported our portfolio of third sector organisations to build resilience.
  • Scottish Autism's helpline handled calls with coronavirus and mental health related issues being among the top issues. Contact calls were made to isolated autistic people and families and live chats with people via the website.
  • National Autistic Society virtual social groups – over 200 people a week were supported through national online social groups, tackling social isolation. People also received health and wellbeing support.
  • Triple A's have run social groups supporting over a hundred people a week through online Discord groups. In addition, they provided ongoing mental health support, counselling, and advice.
  • ENABLE Scotland launched ACE Connect and Family Connect in response to the pandemic as places where members could stay connected, get access to the most up to date information related to the pandemic, and access emotional support through new dedicated helpline.
  • The Scottish Commission for people with Learning Disabilities (SCLD) produced easy to read information on the Covid-19 pandemic about how people could protect themselves.
  • PAMIS have supported families to cope with their caring responsibilities during the disruption caused by the pandemic.
  • The Scottish Government provided additional resource to Downs Syndrome Scotland for their family helpline
  • ARC Scotland Provider Forums produced a report We're all in this together: the impact of Covid-19 on the future of social care. National and Local Involvement Networks have supported people to connect virtually with peers. The Scottish Transition Forum has produced guidance and held webinars to support parents and carers of young people leaving school at this challenging time.
  • A Community Living Change Fund of £20m was announced to facilitate the discharge of long-stay hospital patients who have been delayed in their discharge; to bring home people with learning/intellectual disabilities who have been inappropriately placed outside of Scotland; and to redesign current service provision to ensure such people do not face prolonged hospitalisation or unnecessary placement outside of Scotland going forward.


Email: ceu@gov.scot

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