Archived News

 

DAD - AGM: 27th January 2022

30th December 2021

Please join us at the Annual General Meeting (2021)

of Darlington Association on Disability

on Thursday 27th January 2022

at 11.00am

 

Unfortunately, as we are still unable to hold meetings in person, we will be holding this event online.  

 

Please inform us if you would like to attend the AGM, by contacting Judith, by email: judith.gledhill@darlingtondisability.org or by telephone:  01325 489999 so that we can arrange for a link to the online video meeting to be sent to you.  Please inform us if you have any disability access requirements for a video link meeting. 

 

Copies of the audited accounts and annual report will be available for members which will sent out prior to the AGM once you have confirmed your attendance.  If you are unable to attend and would also like a copy, please contact us.  

 

I hope you can join us and look forward to seeing you. 

Helping the NHS to improve services and treatments for patients – can you help?

08th February 2021

Healthwatch are working with NHS England to undertake some research on what patients, current users, non-users and those with long-term conditions, with specific health issues including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, mental health and genetic factors, think about getting involved with clinical research.

This research will be really valuable in helping the NHS develop new medicines and learn more about better health and care for the future.
We want to know how patients and the public feel about clinical research, how they can get involved in research, what digital access they might need and if there are any barriers in place for involvement.

You can take here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CResearch21

Please feel free to share with anyone else you know who might like to take part!

Thank you for your support.

NHS and care services - how you can help change

08th February 2021

Disability Rights UK

We are writing to you today to alert you to the ‘Tell Us About Your Care’ reporting webpage and how you can use it to share your experiences during lockdown of the NHS and care services.

Disabled people and their families have suffered more than most during the current pandemic. The regulator for the NHS and care services in England – The Care Quality Commission (CQC) – have set up a webpage where disabled people and their families can provide feedback directly, and anonymously to the CQC to help them plan future services that take the needs of disabled people much more seriously.  Once you have provided your feedback to the CQC we urge you to please share this email with other people you may know to do the same. The following are a few examples, you may think of more ways you have been affected over the past year – the CQC has asked to hear about all experiences of the NHS and care services in England:

Did your hospital manage to maintain your treatment schedule during lockdown?

When you contacted your GP surgery, was the receptionist understanding of your situation?

When you received your Covid-19 vaccine, did the people there respond to your needs?

Have you been able to get prescriptions easily?

What were your feelings about the treatment you or a member of your family received when in hospital?

Have you experienced any issues with getting appointments with your physiotherapist?

Any opportunity for the voice of disabled people to be heard is to be welcomed, and we hope that you will report your experiences – both good and bad - on the Tell Us About Your Care webpage.

Kind regards.

Disability Rights UK.

**SEND NEWSFLASH**

01st February 2021

  • An invitation to complete the , relating to the forthcoming cross-Government Disability Strategy. The deadline for reply is 13 February, with a fallback of 23 April.
  • An updated version of our summary of what schools need to or are expected to publish on their websites, including their duties in relation to publishing material on SEN and disability.
  • Update on access to work funding remote employability activities post January.

 

UK Disability Survey

The Cabinet Office Disability Unit has launched the UK Disability Survey: https://disabilityunit.citizenspace.com/cabinet-office/ukdisabilitysurvey/

We want to hear from as many people as possible. We are particularly keen to hear from disabled people, their carers, friends and family; but views from the wider public are also very welcome. The survey will remain open until 23 April. All views will be used to shape the delivery of the plans we set out in the forthcoming Strategy, with those that we receive by 13 February informing the development of the Strategy.

We've tried to make sure the survey, which is hosted on Citizen Space, as accessible as possible. It is available in Easy Read and BSL. Written responses can be sent to: DUCitizenspace@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. A braille version is available on request and blind or partially sighted people who are having difficulty filling in the online survey can email RNIB for advice or support at: campaigns@rnib.org.uk.

                                                                

Duties on and expectations of schools over publishing material online

We have updated our summaries of the material that schools must or should publish online, including in relation to:

  • SEN Information Reports, which need to be updated at least annually
  • details of how a school complies with the public sector equality duty, with information which needs to be updated every year
  • a school’s equality objectives, which need to be updated at least once every four years
  • contact details of SENCos

Schools will also typically wish to publish the Accessibility Plan, that they have to update at least once every three years. Information as to that Plan needs to be included in their SEN Information Report.

There are no changes to the law and our guidance on publishing of the above, but in the updates of our summaries we have sought to bring together all the relevant material in one place and to set it out clearly.

We invite Heads, SENCOs and governors/trustees to consider whether the above material on their websites remains up to date.

The relevant links to our summaries of the requirements and expectations of schools are:

  •   for maintained schools, https://www.gov.uk/guidance/what-maintained-schools-must-publish-online
  •   for academies/free schools,  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/what-academies-free-schools-and-colleges-should-publish-online

 

Access to work funding for remote employability activities post January 2021

We are waiting for a ministerial decision on the continuation of Access to Work funding for remote employability activities post January 2021. We expect to receive the decision very shortly, but until then you can continue to use Access to Work funding for remote employability activities.

 

Launch of a new project for DAD

11th January 2021

We are delighted to launch a new project focusing on positive travel.

With funding from LNER, the Positive Travel Project will support disabled people and carers of all ages to tackle the barriers they face in accessing transport and travel in a variety of ways.

The project will offer a range of options including; individual travel training, group access to social and leisure opportunities for disabled people and families regardless of age or impairment, group participation to tackle issues affecting disabled people.

All activities will be fully accessible with the right support to enable people to participate.

We are looking forward to working with LNER over the coming months and supporting people to;

  • to access public transport who have not done so before
  • to be able to travel independently as a result of travel training
  • have access to leisure and social opportunities and have fun
  • develop new skills, learn new things, identify and tackle issues that affect them and have share them with the wider community.

Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for more updates.

Online exercise session and music quiz tomorrow (09.01.21)

08th January 2021

Bridge Creative are offering an on line exercise session and music quiz tomorrow. It will be posted in the KPC Facebook group. 

Further details of plans for next few weeks to follow including dance, exercises, arts and crafts, cooking with Ian and children's activities.

DAD - AGM : 4th February 2021 - postponed

07th January 2021

Please join us at the Annual General Meeting of Darlington Association on Disability

on Thursday 4th February 2021

at 10.30am

via Zoom

Please inform us if you would like to attend the AGM, by contacting Judith, by email: judith.gledhill@darlingtondisability.org or by telephone:  01325 489999 so that we can arrange a Zoom invitation.

 Copies of the audited accounts and annual report will be available for members which will sent out prior to the AGM once you have confirmed your attendance.  If you are unable to attend and would also like a copy, please contact us.

 I hope you can join us and look forward to seeing you.

New Lockdown Rules - 05.01.21

05th January 2021

Another lockdown…

Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced a national lockdown and instructed people to stay at home to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.

People will only be allowed to leave their homes for the following reasons:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person.
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home.
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one.
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse).
  • attend education or childcare - for those eligible.
  •  

From today, all primary schools, secondary schools and colleges will move to remote learning, except for the children of key workers and vulnerable children.

The government is also advising the clinically extremely vulnerable to begin shielding again, and letters will be sent to individuals with advice on what this means for them.

All non-essential retail, hospitality and personal care services must close, or remain closed. Restaurants can continue delivery, takeaway or click-and-collect of food and non-alcoholic drinks, but venues will no longer be able to serve takeaway or click-and-collect alcohol.

Essential shops and garden centres can remain open. Entertainment venues and animal attractions such as zoos must close, but the outdoor areas of venues such as heritage homes and botanical gardens can remain open, to be used for exercise. Playgrounds may also remain open.

Places of worship can also remain open.

Indoor and outdoor sports facilities including sports courts, gyms, golf courses, swimming pools, and riding arenas must also close. Elite sport and disabled sport can continue, as can PE lessons for those children attending school.

The restrictions will come into effect today and are expected to last until the middle of February if the situation in hospitals improves. By this point, the NHS hopes to have vaccinated everyone in the top four priority groups identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination & Immunisation (JCVI) – including older care home residents and staff, everyone over 70, all frontline NHS and care staff and all those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
 

Vaccine information for people with learning impairments

05th January 2021

From NHS England Learning Disability and Autism Programme

The format of the film is our adviser Katie Matthews, asking our national clinical director Dr Roger Banks a series of questions about vaccinations:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/learning-disabilities/improving-health/

The film is 3 ½ minutes  long so we have also produced social media clips for some of the questions so you can link back to the main film.

Here is a download link to the 5 social media clips https://we.tl/t-laSYneEY8f

Changes to Christmas Bubbles

21st December 2020

Guidance for the Christmas period - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The Government have changed the Christmas rules.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson came on tv to tell the country that the Christmas lockdown rules have changed. This is because the number of people getting Coronavirus is going up very fast.

A new Tier 4 London and some parts of the South East have been put into a new Tier 4. This is because lots of people there are catching Coronavirus. People in Tier 4 have to follow stricter lockdown rules.

In the North East, Yorkshire and Humber, our Tiers have not changed. People living in York and North Yorkshire are in Tier 2. Everyone else in the North East, Yorkshire and Humber is in Tier 3. Your lockdown rules stay the same.

The rules for Christmas support bubbles have changed. The Christmas Support Bubble rules used to be that from 23rd to 27th December that 3 households could spend time together.

This has changed.

We can only spend time with people that we do not live with and who are not in our support bubble on Christmas Day. The Government are saying we should stay local and not travel a long way to visit people on Christmas Day.

But it is important to follow the rules to stop people catching Coronavirus.

The Coronavirus bug is changing. The Government have said that the Coronavirus bug has changed. The new version of the Coronavirus bug is easier to catch. The Government say it isn’t more dangerous than the first one and the vaccine should still work.

 

Understanding Safeguarding for Voluntary and Community Organisations

15th December 2020

DCA as a partner with Catalyst Stockton-on-Tees in Safer Culture North East have organised a safeguarding training session with some further information as follows:

Understanding Safeguarding for Voluntary and Community Organisations

This online session is aimed a volunteer led organisations and community groups.

It will cover:

The importance of having a safeguarding policy

Understanding your responsibilities for safeguarding within your organisation

What to include in your safeguarding policy

Thursday 17th December 2020 5.00 pm – 6.30 pm.

Bookings are through  via the Eventbrite link below:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/understanding-safeguarding-for-trustees-tickets-132403445269

Once a booking has been confirmed then participants will be sent a Zoom link to access the session.

#VitaminD

03rd December 2020

People who are on the 'clinically extremely vulnerable' list, which includes adults (18+) who have Down's syndrome, are now able to get free #VitaminD supplements from the NHS.

Follow the link below for more information and to sign up.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/get-vitamin-d-supplements/?fbclid=IwAR2TH8b1ssAVC-6gmRieKwlAqa5UW7DzxPHlmUWzm7owWhGsA10YmVx4rgU

DAD and NHS Test and Trace

03rd December 2020

International Day of Disabled People

DAD was asked by Caroline Airs, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead to deliver an online presentation to NHS Test and Trace staff in the Department of Health and Social Care. The presentation was focused on supporting people with hidden impairments in the workplace.

250 people joined this session – that’s 250 new people who now know about DAD!!

We received comments such as “thanks for the insight and raising awareness”, “thank you for this informative session and amazing presentation”, “thank you for sharing”, “really helpful, Rosemary (Senior Manager of DAD), thank you” – and some interesting chat and sharing ideas about good practice in running meetings.

Purple Space

03rd December 2020

‘PurpleSpace is the UK’s only learning, networking and professional development hub for disabled employees, employee network leaders and allies from all sectors and trades. The one thing we have in common is that we want to find and share ways of being our best selves at work.’

They are hosting a Purple Light Up event next week, see below;

PurpleSpace leads this movement, our mark of respect to the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) held annually on 3rd December.

Since 2017, #PurpleLightUp has been driving momentum for disability inclusion across hundreds of organisations, reaching thousands of employees in different ways. This includes lighting up iconic buildings purple, holding events, developing workplace policies for disabled employees and sparking conversations about disability inclusion worldwide.

 

https://www.purplespace.org/about

'Shielding' - new guidance

30th November 2020

This new guidance has just been published with differing rules in each tier..  

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/cev-from-2-dec

 

Shielding

You are not advised to follow this revised shielding advice unless you receive a new shielding notification advising you to do so.

We may advise more restrictive formal shielding measures for the clinically extremely vulnerable in the worst affected Tier 3 areas, based on advice from the Chief Medical Officer. This will only apply to some Tier 3 areas, and the government will write to you separately to inform you if you are advised to shield.

Further support will be made available from your local council and community pharmacies to help protect you during this period of heightened risk.

International Day of People With Disabilities

30th November 2020

This Thursday, December 3rd,  is International Day of People With Disabilities, an annual event to join together to support disabled people in our communities, and raise awareness of the importance of creating a future where disabled people experience equal opportunity and face no barriers in all aspects of their lives— whether it be going about their day-to-day lives within accessible communities, joining the workforce, or being able to showcase their abilities and reach their goals without facing barriers.

#idpwd

Christmas Bubbles

26th November 2020

Here is the Government Guidance about Christmas bubbles, please read full guidance as this is just summary and the guidance includes section on existing support bubbles, childcare bubbles and guidance for care home residents etc

Between 23 and 27 December:

  • you can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ composed of people from no more than three households
  • you can only be in one Christmas bubble
  • you cannot change your Christmas bubble
  • you can travel between tiers and UK nations for the purposes of meeting your Christmas bubble
  • you can only meet your Christmas bubble in private homes or in your garden, places of worship, or public outdoor spaces
  • you can continue to meet people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the rules in the tier where you are staying
  • you cannot meet someone in a private dwelling who is not part of your household or Christmas bubble

 

Before and after forming and meeting your Christmas bubble

You should reduce unnecessary contact with people you do not live with as much as possible in the two weeks before you form your Christmas bubble.

Children should continue to go to school.

You should work from home if you can, but you should avoid unnecessary social interaction. Any increase in contact with other people increases the risk you will catch or spread coronavirus.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-a-christmas-bubble-with-friends-and-family/making-a-christmas-bubble-with-friends-and-family

New regional tiers

26th November 2020

Here is the link to the new local restriction tiers from 2nd December

Tier 3 - North East and Tees Valley

MEETING FRIENDS AND FAMILY
No mixing of households indoors, or most outdoor places, apart from support bubbles. Maximum of six in some outdoor public spaces (e.g.
parks, public gardens).

BARS, PUBS AND RESTAURANTS
Hospitality is closed, with the exception of sales by takeaway, drive-through or delivery.

RETAIL
Open.

WORK AND BUSINESS
Everyone who can work from home should do so.

EDUCATION
Early years settings, schools, colleges and universities open. Childcare, other supervised activities for children, and childcare bubbles permitted.

INDOOR LEISURE
Open. Group activities and classes should not take place

ACCOMMODATION
Closed (with limited exceptions)

PERSONALCARE
Open.

OVERNIGHT STAYS
We advise against overnight stays other than with household or support bubble.

WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS
15 guests for weddings, civil partnerships and wakes; 30 for funerals. Wedding receptions not permitted.

ENTERTAINMENT
Indoor venues

PLACES OF WORSHIP
Open, but cannot interact with anyone outside household or support bubble.

TRAVELLING
Avoid travelling outside your area, other than where necessary such as for work or education. Further exemptions apply. Reduce the number of journeys where possible.  Plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. Avoid car sharing with those outside of your household or support bubble.

EXERCISE
Classes and organised adult sport can take place outdoors, but people should avoid higher-risk contact activity. Group exercise activities and sports indoors should not take place, unless with your household or bubble. Organised activities for elite athletes, under-18s and disabled people can continue.

RESIDENTIAL CARE 
COVID-secure arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, and window visits. Outdoor/airtight visits only (rollout of rapid testing
will enable indoor visits including contact).

LARGE EVENTS
Events should not take place. Drive-in events permitted. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tier-posters-medium-high-and-very-high

Primary Care Report & Digital Exclusion Project

12th November 2020

In 2019, 430 patients in Darlington shared their GP experience with Healthwatch Darlington. Healthwatch Darlington spoke to patients about booking appointments, waiting times, communication and accessibility.  You can read the Darlington Primary Care Report 2019 here.

The story continues. Healthwatch Darlington have continued listening to the voices of patients during the pandemic and have worked with Healthwatch England to plan a research project which will help them to understand your experiences further. Healthwatch Darlington have teamed up with Darlington Primary Care Network to make this happen.

It’s important for us to understand new barriers that some patients may be facing as health professionals adapt to using ‘digital’ appointments within primary health services.

Healthwatch Darlington will be working with Darlington Primary Care Network to conduct a ‘Digital Exclusion’ project in Darlington. The overall aim of the project is to understand the potential inequalities surrounding the shift to remote/virtual GP appointments during the pandemic. The key groups of patients we hope to reach include:

  • Older patients (over 65)
  • Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) patients
  • Disabled patients (Learning disabilities, hearing and/or visual impairment)

On Monday 16th November from 10:45am -12:00pm we will be LIVE on Facebook with Darlington Primary Care Network to talk more about this project but you can also hear more about:

Flu Vaccination Programme

Access to GP’s during lockdown/pandemic

If you would like to share your experience or know someone who does please get in touch with Healthwatch Darlington to arrange an appointment, by contacting 01325 380145, 07525 237723 (please leave a message) or email info@healthwatchdarlington.co.uk

What the DDA did for me.....

11th November 2020

Here is what the DDA did.....

It gave me the right to ask for reasonable adjustments to help me apply for and keep a job. 

It meant I could receive the first pay slip I could read

It enabled me to get braille bank statements

It gave me the right to assistance to get on and off trains

It meant I could stand up against hostility from the public knowing the law was on my side

It lets me get support at the gym to use the equipment

It empowers me to ask for accessible health information

It helped many disabled people to access buses and taxis and to be able to use different means of transport

It helps me to be able to work and make use of the Access to Work scheme

It meant that counters in banks and ATM machines had to be installed in a lower (wheelchair accessible) position

It helped some people’s attitudes change to see us as disabled people with more positivity

Places of worship are more accessible to disabled people

Hospital wards became more accessible to disabled people with more complex physical needs

Pools were made accessible with hoists and other equipment

It meant that schools had a duty to provide accessible education

It meant that transport became more accessible – I was no longer expected to travel in the guard’s carriage with some livestock

Insurance companies could no longer load my quotes because of my impairment (car insurance / life insurance)

New buildings such as shopping centres and cinemas had to be accessible – I was no longer a fire hazard, a reason used to keep me out of the cinema

It means that I have to be recognised as having the right to access shops, leisure facilities, education, housing and transport, rather than being seen as an inconvenience for even asking

It was the ability to see that my hidden disabilities and my mental health condition were not matters to be ashamed of, that others had similar conditions and went about life to the best of their abilities

It was the fact that there is a better chance of getting opportunities for work and positions of influence

It is the fact that there is the ability to legally challenge anyone or any business which tried to infringe on my rights to enjoy full engagement with society

It is being respected by statutory bodies, companies and government for involvement in improving the place of disabled people in their business and policy creation

 

Letter from Vicky Ford MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families

10th November 2020

Click here to see letter from Vicky Ford MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families

/_library/files/Minister%20Ford%20open%20letter%20to%20the%20SEND%20sector%209th%20Nov.pdf

What has the DDA done for you?

10th November 2020

On Sunday 8 November, it was 25 years since the passing of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), the first civil rights legislation in the UK relating to disabled people. The DDA came 20 years after legislation outlawing race discrimination and sex discrimination, and we can thank the disability rights campaigners of the 1980s and 1990s for the fact it came at all.

Of course there is still a lot wrong with the way society treats disabled people, negative attitudes to us persist, inclusive design is not the norm and the benefits, support and services that some of us rely on have been drastically reduced. But none of this should stop us celebrating the DDA and expressing our heartfelt thanks to those who made it possible, the disability rights campaigners and Parliamentarians.

What has the DDA done for you? Email us at mail@darlingtondisability.org

Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable

05th November 2020

Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable

This guidance has been updated, people are being advised to shield again and only leave house for exercise and essential health appointments.

People with stage-five chronic kidney disease, those undergoing dialysis and adults with Down's syndrome are now also advised to follow the advice.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

Lockdown 2

05th November 2020

National restrictions come into effect today (Thursday 5th November) in England until the 2nd December.

You can find more information here.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november

T

Purple Tuesday

03rd November 2020

New research reveals how the first national lockdown to halt the spread of COVID-19 has turned back the clock for disabled customers, who have been forced to rely on inaccessible websites and apps to purchase basic essentials and access goods and services.

The research shows that the vast majority of websites do not comply with the latest accessibility requirements and one recent study showed that more than 98% of home pages had accessibility failures.  Specific challenges highlighted by disabled people for Purple Tuesday include:

Inaccessible online forms – which can be difficult to navigate, particularly for people living with sight loss where it’s not clear whether a field is drop-down menu or an open field that requires a typed response

Mobile accessibility – where consumers cannot complete purchases because the website or online form are not mobile-friendly

Product information – where insufficient information is provided as to whether a product or service can meet your needs as a disabled person

Product availability – some disabled people have told us they can’t access products that meet their needs online, including some rail websites which don’t have facilities to book priority seating online

Missed deliveries – which often force disabled people to collect parcels from postal depots that are inaccessible if you don’t drive

https://purpletuesday.org.uk/2020/11/03/purple-tuesday-2020-press-release/

#ThumbsUp #PurpleTuesday

 

Free Training for direct payment employers funded by Skills for Care

02nd November 2020

DAD have successfully gained some funding from Skills for Care and we are looking to hold sessions over Google Zoom for direct payment employers.  All personal assistants are welcome to join although the focus will be supporting employers in understanding best practice in infection control and risk assessments.

Please call us or email if you wish to attend either of the following dates:

Thursday 19th November starting at 1.30pm, Zoom

Wednesday 2nd December, starting at 1.30pm, Zoom

(Sessions will last approximately 2 hours)

We look forward to seeing you!

Latest Covid News

02nd November 2020

On Saturday 31st October 2020, the Prime Minister announced that from Thursday 5th November until Wednesday 2nd December, due to rising COVID-19 case numbers, the Government is taking the following action:

  • Requiring people to stay at home, except for specific purposes.
  • Preventing gathering with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
  • Closing certain businesses and venues.

Subject to it being passed in Parliament later this week, the new measures will apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2nd December. At the end of the period, the Government will look to return to a regional approach, based on the latest data.

The Government guidance is as follows:

1. Stay at Home

This means you must not leave or be outside of your home except for specific purposes. These include:

  • For childcare or education, where this is not provided online.
  • For work purposes, where your place of work remains open and where you cannot work from home (including if your job involves working in other people’s homes).
  • To exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place - with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household.
  • For any medical concerns, reasons, appointments and emergencies, or to avoid or escape risk of injury or harm - such as domestic abuse.
  • Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which should be as infrequent as possible.
  • To visit members of your support bubble or provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.

This list is not exhaustive and there are other limited circumstances where you may be permitted to leave or be outside of your home. These will be set out in law and further detailed guidance is to be provided.

 

2. Staying Safe Outside the Home (Social Distancing)

You should minimise time spent outside your home and when around other people ensure that you are two metres apart from anyone not in your household or support bubble.
Remember - ‘Hands. Face. Space’:

  • Hands – wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
  • Face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
  • Space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors).

 

3. Meeting with Family and Friends

You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household - meaning the people you live with - or support bubble.
You can exercise or visit outdoor public places with the people you live with, your support bubble, or 1 person from another household.

Outdoor public places include:

  • Parks, beaches, countryside;
  • Public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them), allotments;
  • Playgrounds;

You cannot meet in a private garden.

 

4. Businesses and Venues

To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. These include:

  • All non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.
  • Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks.
  • Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens.
  • Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.

Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. Essential retail should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.
Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect.
Playgrounds can remain open.
Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.
Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law.
A full list of the business closures will be published and set out in law.
Some venues will be allowed to remain open for specific exempt activities, like childcare and support groups (maximum 15 participants) formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. E.g. support victims of crime, drug and alcohol recovery, new parents and guardians, people with long-term illnesses, issues relating to sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement.
A number of public services will also stay open and you will be able to leave home to visit them. These include: the NHS and medical services like GP's; Jobcentre Plus sites; Courts; and Civil Registration Offices.

 

5. Weddings, Civil Partnerships, Religious Services and Funerals

Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances.
Places of Worship will be closed, unless they are being used for: Funerals, to broadcast acts of worship, individual prayer, formal childcare or where part of a school. Essential voluntary and public services, such as blood donation or food banks, and other exempted activities such as some support groups.

 

6. Going to Work

Work from home where possible. Where people cannot do so (for instance people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing) they should continue to travel to work/attend their workplace.

 

7. Going to School, College and University

The Government will not be closing schools, colleges or universities.

 

8. Childcare and Children’s Activities

Parents will still be able to access some registered childcare and other childcare activities (including wraparound care) where reasonably necessary to enable parents to work, or for the purposes of respite care.

 

9. Protecting People More at Risk from Coronavirus

Those over 60 or clinically vulnerable, are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, but are encouraged to go outside for exercise. The full new guidance will be published on Monday 2nd November and the Government will write to everybody who is clinically extremely vulnerable to set out detailed advice while the new restrictions are in place.

 

10. Visiting Relatives in Care Homes

Guidance on care home visits will be published ahead of Thursday.

 

11. Travel

You should avoid travelling in or out of your local area, and you should look to reduce the number of journeys you make. However you can and should still travel for a number of reasons, including:

  • Travelling to work where this cannot be done from home.
  • Travelling to education and for caring responsibilities.
  • Hospital GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health.
  • Visiting venues that are open, including essential retail.
  • Exercise, if you need to make a short journey to do so.

If you need to travel we encourage you to walk or cycle where possible, and to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practise social distancing while you travel.
Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed.

Free access to flu vaccination for PA’s

19th October 2020

All frontline health and social care workers are encouraged to get the winter flu vaccination and for the first time, this year, PAs will be able to access the vaccine free of charge from GPs and community pharmacies through the NHS Complementary Scheme. 
 
Full, bespoke guidance for PAs and direct payment holders has been developed and will be published shortly. In the meantime, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has asked us to share with you a summary of the guidance, along with a letter than can be used as proof of entitlement. This is so that PAs can begin to access the flu vaccination now.
 
To access the scheme, PAs will simply need to attend a GP surgery or community pharmacy and identify themselves as a PA. Sometimes people have been asked to provide proof of their entitlement to a free flu vaccination and the attached letter can be used for identification.

The process for PAs to access the flu vaccination, is as follows:
If you meet the criteria, you must present one of the following forms of identification that includes your name and the name of your employer to your GP or pharmacy: ■ ID badge ■ a recent payslip ■ a letter from your employer. Please note: it’s possible that not all GPs or pharmacies will sign-up to the scheme. 

If you're an organisation that supports people who are employing PAs, please share this information and letter with them, so their PAs can get the winter flu vaccination.

In addition, colleagues at DHSC are keen to keep the flu campaign for this workforce going through the winter, and so are interested in finding individuals to share their experience of getting the vaccine on social media and in newsletters.

As part of this they’d like to feature some PAs getting the vaccine. If you have some examples that we can share with DHSC, please let us know by emailing pa.framework@skillsforcare.org.uk

Friends Against Scams Online Training

19th October 2020

Darlington Trading Standards continues to work to with the National Trading Standards Scams Team to prevent our communities from becoming victims of scams.  This year is the fourth anniversary of the ‘Friends Against Scams’ initiative which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming scam victims by empowering them to take a stand against scams.  As you may be aware, scams, in particular those linked to the pandemic, are on the increase.

Friends Against Scams week commences Monday 19th October 2020 and, on Wednesday 21st we would like as many people as possible to complete online awareness training and help to protect others.  Please help by completing this online awareness training (only 20 minutes long) yourselves and by raising awareness, through communications with your colleagues, followers, etc. to encourage others to do the same.

A link to the online awareness training is below:

https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/training/friends-elearning

Covid 19 tier system

14th October 2020

Darlington and Co Durham are now in the HIGH tier

Social Contact:   1 household / bubble indoors. Rule of six outdoors.

Weddings and Funerals:  Up to 15 guests for weddings and up to 30 guests for funerals. 15 for receptions, wakes and related ceremonies.

Overnight Stays:  Overnight stays permitted subject to social contact rules.

Working from home guidance:  Work from home where possible.

Shopping and Retail:  Open.

Leisure and gyms:  Open.

Hospitality:  Open with some restrictions including 10pm closing time and table-service only.

Entertainment and tourist attractions:  Open, except nightclubs and adult entertainment.

Education:  Schools, FE colleges open. Universities must reflect wider restrictions.

Healthcare Services:  Open.

Residential Care:  Closed to external visitors other than in exceptional circumstances.

Travel and Transport:  May continue to travel to open venues, but reduce number of journeys where possible. Avoid travel into Local COVID Alert Level Very High areas where possible.

Sporting Activity:  Organised sport / licensed physical activity allowed in outdoor settings. Indoor organised sport must follow social contact rules (other than youth or disabled sport).

Worship:  Open, subject to social contact rules.

Childcare:  Registered and wraparound childcare. Supervised activities permitted in private homes. Children’s groups permitted. Childcare bubbles for under 14s.

Youth Clubs and Activities:  Permitted.

There are three simple actions we must all do to keep on protecting each other:

Wash hands: keep washing your hands regularly

Cover face: wear a face covering in enclosed spaces

Make space: stay at least 2 metres apart - or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions

Hate Crime Week: 10th Oct - 17th Oct

14th October 2020

Disability hate crime is any incident or crime which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person's disability.

If you believe that you or any other person has been targeted because of their disability then please report it.

There are many ways to report hate crime.

  • If the matter involves an attack or serious crime which needs an urgent response, ring 999
  • If it is a lesser incident such as verbal abuse, ring 101
  • Contact your local police directly.
  • Contact Darlington Association on Disability on us on 01325 489 999 or email advocacy@darlingtondisability.org for support.

Practical Support in Darlington

05th October 2020

Darlington Mutual Aid volunteers are still available to assist anyone who needs practical support in the community shopping, collecting from food banks, prescriptions dog walking etc. As more people are needing to self isolate please refer people. This form could be used to submit the request for support: http://www.darlingtonsupport.uk/support  Alternatively, this is the support line telephone number: 01325 978897

St Teresa's Hospice - Hello, How are you

02nd October 2020

A new series of online talks for anyone caring for a loved one with a serious illness, such as heart or respiratory disease, cancer, or a neurological condition.

Starting 27th Oct 2020

Information and support from local specialists:- * Consultant in palliative medicine   * Solicitor   * Hospice social workers   * Macmillan benefits officer   * Other carers

About a range of topics:- * Your needs and wishes   * Wills and Lasting Power of Attorney   * Emotional and practical support   * Financial grants and benefits  * Self-care and well-being

To request a place or for more information please contact:

Deborah Robinson at St Teresa’s Hospice, Darlington on 01325 254321 or enquiries@darlingtonhospice.org.uk

Technical support offered.

Call us about care, we want you to share!

30th September 2020

Connecting socially isolated and lonely service users with friendly volunteers and staff to talk about care experiences and ask questions.

Contact us now to book an appointment for yourself or someone you know.

01325 380145 or 07525 237723.

Alternatively, you can email:  info@healthwatchdarlington.co.uk

 

Connect with your Care

30th September 2020

Join us from the comfort of your own home with a cup of coffee for 'Tell us your views Tuesday' online using Zoom from 10am to 11am with a themed conversation topic each week. October 6th we will be talking about 'loneliness'. Email info@healthwatchdarlington.co.uk or call 01325 380145 for your Zoom link.

Join us for #WellbeingWednesdays where we will be joined by guest speakers LIVE on Facebook talking about wellbeing, how local services can help, positive stories and finished off with self-care tips. October 7th from 12:30pm we will be joined by 'Darlington Humankind Young Carers'

All of our #WellbeingWednesday sessions are now booked with guest speakers but we are looking for people to take part in November. Get in touch if you are interested ASAP.

Maybe you can join us with a friend?

Maybe your an organisation who would like to get involved with discussions?

Maybe you know someone who would enjoy our coffee and chat sessions on Tuesdays?

For more information or to take part in one of these sessions get in touch via info@healthwatchdarlington.co.uk or call 01325 380145. Please note out opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm.

CPS - Who are we?

13th August 2020

“Have you ever been affected by hate crime?  Ever wondered about why some HATE CRIMES make it to court and some don’t?  Do you want to know what the Crown Prosecution Service actually does?

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are holding an online Q+A / Who We Are session on Tuesday 18th August 5:30 – 6:30pm.  They would love you to dial in and be part of it.  Contact Andrew Allison on 07384 797779 or Andrew.Allison@darlington.gov.uk to book a place.

If you’d rather e-mail your question and get it answered without taking part, you can do that too!  Just let DAD know your question and we’ll get the answer for you.”

 

Have you been in hospital recently?

03rd August 2020

Tell us your views

During the coronavirus pandemic the usual processes hospitals follow to discharge you from their care changed to help free up beds.

While these changes have successfully got people out of hospital and helped the NHS manage the demand created by coronavirus, we want to know what this has meant for you. 

To find out more about people’s experiences of health and care during COVID-19, we recently launched our campaign #BecauseWeAllCare to encourage people to share their experiences of health and social care services in Darlington.

By telling us about your experiences of leaving hospital we can help services in Darlington improve the care they provide now, and in the future.

Share your views today in our short, confidential survey.

Share your experience
https://www.healthwatch.co.uk/tell-us-about-your-experience-leaving-hospital-during-covid-19-pandemic

 

If you or family have not recently been in hospital, please share this email with your friends, neighbours and networks so we can hear from more people about their experiences of care.

If you have any questions about this survey or our work please email info@healthwatchdalrington.co.uk to ensure this is picked up by the relevant staff members who will be able to help.

Extending the period of self-isolation

30th July 2020

You may have seen in the press reports about extending the period of self-isolation for those with symptoms or a positive test from 7 days to 10 days. The 14 day period for contacts remains unchanged.

Statement from the UK Chief Medical Officers on extension of self-isolation period: 30 July 2020

The self-isolation period has been extended to 10 days for those in the community who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or a positive test result.

 

Supporting People with hearing loss

29th July 2020

Here are some links that may help:

Face masks with windows and visors: https://www.molly-watt-trust.org/

Free BSL lessons on YouTube from 2 sisters in lockdown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rR2Zb7TbiOA

Some free resources here: https://www.british-sign.co.uk/fingerspelling-alphabet-charts/

General info and fingerspelling chart: https://actiononhearingloss.org.uk/information-and-support/deaf-awareness/british-sign-language/

Health videos in BSL if patient needs them: https://signhealth.org.uk/health-video-library/ 

For hard of hearing, communication tips etc… https://actiononhearingloss.org.uk/information-and-support/deaf-awareness/

Darlington Community Support HUB

23rd July 2020

Darlington Community Support HUB

The Darlington Community Support HUB (providing help, advice and assistance to those who are shielded and who are the most isolated) has now changed their opening hours and no longer open over the weekend.

The new opening hours are;

Operating Hours from Monday 6th July:

Monday - Wednesday, 8:30-4:45pm

Thursday, 9:30-4:45pm

Friday, 8:30-4:15pm

The HUB can be contacted on 01325 405000

The HUB does not provides emergency food parcels, will signpost to food banks and community groups that may be able to help.

 

Face Mask Exemption Cards

23rd July 2020

If you can not wear a face mask because of a disability of health problem please cut out one of the cards

Exemption Cards

SENDcast are hosting a Parent Talks session

23rd July 2020

SENDcast are hosting a Parent Talks session created especially for parents of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability.

Are you a parent or carer of a child with autism looking for support and advice? Tessa Morton from Act for Autism wants to help!

Here’s what one parent thought of Tessa’s Parent Talks session…

"I found the talk on autism and sensory difficulties extremely helpful.
It gave me more insight into my son's world and helped me to understand how he feels."

Tessa's online talk will help you understand the sensory challenges faced by autistic children. She explains the 8 senses, their impact on an autistic child and provides exercises that help you to experience sensory chaos. She also talks about the 3 C Pathway to support your child’s confidence in relationship building - and why this is so important.

This talk is part of season 1 of Parent Talks - created especially for parents of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability. The talks are all given by individuals with personal experience of SEND - parents, professionals, pioneers - who share their experiences, insights and practical advice.

It’s just £10 for access to 12 online talks (including Tessa's). Read more about the talks and the presenters here https://www.virtualsendconference.com/26th-june-2020/

You can purchase tickets on their website - www.virtualsendconference.com/parent-talks. If you register your interest, they will email you a discount code to get money off your ticket and keep you updated on the latest news.

#BecauseWeAllCare

09th July 2020

#BecauseWeAllCare

Healthwatch are launching a new campaign with CQC – #BecauseWeAllCare, encouraging the public to share their experiences, both good and bad, to help improve health and social care services. As well as promoting the benefits of giving feedback and why it’s so important, it will also be an opportunity to collect people’s views on key local issues.

The campaign launches on Wednesday 8th July 2020.

As health and social care services work to provide the best possible care during COVID-19, public feedback can play a crucial role to help us identify and address issues that affect the quality of people’s care.

Together we can help services across Darlington improve the care they provide now, and in the future. #BecauseWeAllCare is here to listen and act on public feedback to improve care for you and others – helping patients, key workers, and our communities.

In addition to their campaign launch they will be focusing on key service users groups and health care topics. Will be hosting online focus groups, offering telephone appointments and working with organisations to reach out to service users.

The focus across the coming weeks will be families & young people and hospital discharge.

How can you encourage people to share their experiences and support the campaign?

Following an experience with a health or social care service, patients and carers can share their feedback – both positive and negative - with their local Healthwatch by completing an online form.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HWDCovid,

 

How to get in touch

All the #BecauseWeAllCare team are working from home but we can still be contacted during our normal operational hours 9am to 4pm

Email: info@healthwatchdarlington.co.uk

Telephone: 01325 380145 (Please leave a message and someone will get back to you as soon as possible)

Mobile: 07525237723

CDCF

26th June 2020

Thanks to County Durham Community Foundation for supporting us with further funding from the #NETCoronaVirusAppeal. This will enable us to continue to keep people connected and safe through regular calls, deliveries of activities and Personal Protective Equipment and on line activities which will support disabled people and carers of all ages during the #coronavirus outbreak.

Face Coverings

15th June 2020

Face Coverings

I am sure you’ll have heard that government have mandated that from today anyone travelling by public transport must wear a face covering.  If someone doesn’t wear a covering they will be breaking the law and could be fined by the police, although the aim is for high rates of compliance rather than enforcement.  The requirement to wear a face covering doesn’t apply to children under the age of 11, or to those who have a reason not to, which includes the following:

•        if you have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering

•        if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress

•        if you are travelling with, or providing assistance to, someone who relies on lip reading to communicate

•        if you are travelling to avoid injury or escape the risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you

•        if you need to remove it during your journey to avoid harm or injury or the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others

•        if you need to eat, drink, or take medication you can remove your face covering

•        if you are asked to remove your face covering by a police officer or other official, for example to check your railcard

Full government guidance can be found here - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#face-coverings

Those travelling by bus, who are exempt from wearing a face covering may wish to carry one of the Journey Assistance Cards shown below with them.  The cards can be downloaded and printed from this page - https://www.arrivabus.co.uk/travel-help-and-accessibility/how-to-obtain-assistance-cards/:

Support Bubbles

12th June 2020

Government guidance about meeting people was recently updated to include forming ‘support bubbles’ between two households. Please read the following and use the government guidance to support people to understand how and who they can form a support bubble with. The guiddance only appplies to those living in England. The attached may also be useful to help explain.

From Saturday 13th June people living alone or single parents, with childrren under 18 years old, can form a ‘support bubble’ with ONE other household, of any size.

This does not apply to people who are shielded and they should continue to shield until further guidance is issued. It is expected that there will be more guidance for this group next week.

All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each others’ homes, including overnight, without needing to stay 2 metres apart.

People should still follow social distancing rules when meeting people not from their household or support bubble and can still meet no more than 6 people, outside and should remain 2 meters apart.       

There are key principles to form a support bubble safely to keep people safe;

  • support bubbles should be exclusive – you should not change who is in your bubble or have close contact with anyone else you do not live with.
  • if you or someone in your support bubble is showing coronavirus symptoms, or otherwise self-isolating, everyone in your support bubble should stay home. If you or a member of your support bubble is contacted as part of the test and trace programme, the individual contacted must stay at home. If the individual becomes symptomatic, everyone in the support bubble must then isolate.

There is no limit on how far you can travel in England to meet members of your support bubble but we recommend that you form a support bubble with someone who lives locally wherever possible. 

If you share custody of your child, and you and your child’s other parent are both in separate bubbles, all households would need to isolate if someone becomes symptomatic in the group.

If you are a lone parent you can form a support bubble with another household to provide informal (i.e. unpaid) childcare for them or for them to provide informal childcare for you. You should not form a support bubble with more than one household.

You can read the full guidance here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/meeting-people-from-outside-your-household

Face Coverings - Hospital

10th June 2020

The government guidance is that all hospital staff will wear facemasks from 15th June. Visitors and outpatients should wear a face covering but masks will be provided in emergencies by hospitals.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/face-masks-and-coverings-to-be-worn-by-all-nhs-hospital-staff-and-visitors#:~:text=Face%20masks%20and%20coverings%20to%20be%20worn%20by%20all%20NHS,face%20coverings%20at%20all%20times.

 

Covid19 Testing

26th May 2020

Testing is now open to any member of the public with Covid 19 symptoms by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119 to book a test.  

Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested

06th May 2020

Guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test, how to get tested and the different types of test available.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

 

Personal Protective Equipment animation and resources

01st May 2020

PPE

 

What PPE to wear when providing care out of hospital

This short animation shows you what personal protective equipment to wear when providing care (including caring for extremely vulnerable and shielded people) in care homes or caring for people in their own homes.  It is based on Public Health England’s recently published guidance:-

https://vimeo.com/408471512

 

Putting on and removing PPE – a guide for care homes

This Public Health Education video includes a flowchart for care workers providing care to residents to identify whether there is a need for PPE, PPE recommendations for care home staff, and some frequently asked questions on the use of PPE in care homes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozY50PPmsvE&feature=youtu.be

 

Website for further resources

The above animation and video and further resources/links that may be of help to people providing care out of hospital are all grouped in this one website.  Under the “resources” section are other videos including how to take someone’s temperature, guides to help with your personal wellbeing, along with a training package on Covid-19 infection prevention and control.  You can also download posters on how to take off PPE and on the “useful links” tab, there are quick links to other websites for further information/support eg E-learning for Healthcare:-

https://ppecovid19.co.uk/

Covid 19 Mobile Testing

28th April 2020

The Mobile Testing Unit will be back at Teesside Park from 2nd – 4th May so this can be used to book staff testing.

 

https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/

Coronavirus (COVID-19): providing unpaid care

14th April 2020

Who this guidance is for

This guidance is for anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who, due to a lifelong condition, illness, disability, serious injury, a mental health condition or an addiction, cannot cope without their support.

Follow this link for more information

www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-providing-unpaid-care

Thank you to County Durham Community Foundation

14th April 2020

Thankyou to County Durham Community Foundation who have, very quickly, agreed an emergency grant to DAD to support us with the costs of keeping in touch with disabled people and carers while people are self isolating and in need of support, information and practical assistance. 

If you, or anyone you know, is not already on our list and needs support please get in  touch by phoning 01325 489999 or email mail@darlingtondisability.org

Disabled Children's Partnership

03rd April 2020

New coronavirus resource webpage from Disabled Children's Partnership. 

The Disabled Children's Partnership has gathered a range of online info for families with disabled children & put them together in one place 

www.disabledchildrenspartnership.org.uk/coronavirus/

 

Direct Payments Help Line

30th March 2020

We know that this is a very worrying time for disabled people, particularly Direct Payment users.

We are putting in a range of support to be able to continue to support Direct Payment users at this time. If you use a Direct Payment and live in Darlington, Middlesbrough or Redcar and have concerns or queries our Independent Living Advisors and Lead Workers are available to support you by telephone and email.

You can contact us on 01325 360524 or 01325 489999 or email directpayments@darlingtondisability.org

Please be aware we are experiencing high numbers of call and queries at the moment so please be patient but we will respond to all.

 

Update - testing for PAs and PHB holders

27th March 2020

The latest update from the Department of Health and Social Care is as follows:

 

All PAs are now able to receive a test, symptomatic or asymptomatic – as essential, frontline workers. The test is most effective in the first three days of infection (but can still be effective up to five days). So practically, any PA who is symptomatic, should get tested as soon as possible and any PA who is asymptomatic (but thinks they may have been exposed recently) can also now access testing. As before, PAs can either self-register, or be referred by their employer, with availability for both home-delivered tests, and drive-through testing.

 

All patients in the NHS, and residents in care homes can now access tests, symptomatic or asymptomatic. It has also been agreed that ‘patients’ extends to individuals with personal health budgets in place. Therefore, any personal health budget holders with concerns that they may have Covid-19 / been exposed to Covid-19, can now access these tests (via self-referral).

 

Individuals with just a personal budget in place, who don’t have either a) a personal health budget, or b) a health condition that would constitute them being a ‘patient’, are not eligible to access these tests yet… unless they are over 65 and have symptoms, or are required to go into work because they cannot work from home, and have symptoms.  

 

 

Message from Lauren

26th March 2020

Message from Lauren

Very proud of all our Key Workers at DAD! Thank you! Lauren Robinson, DAD Chief Executive

Covid-19 - Easy read guidance on shielding vulnerable people

25th March 2020

Here is a link to an easy read guide on shielding vulnerable people which might be helpful for sharing.

 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/875126/Easy_read_guidance_on_shielding_March_2020.pdf

Free Online BSL training

25th March 2020

Doncaster Deaf Trust has launched a free online British Sign Language (BSL) course.

The online course, developed thanks to National Lottery Funding, will enable users to learn Level One BSL.

Alexis Johnson, executive principal of Doncaster Deaf Trust said: “We are thrilled to be able to launch this free resource for people during this unprecedented time.

Here is the link: https://www.deaf-trust.co.uk/news/doncaster-deaf-trust-launch-online-british-sign-language-course

Free Coronavirus Video

23rd March 2020

Free Coronavirus Awareness eLearning Video from IHASCO

In this short free Coronavirus eLearning video, IHASCO provide practical advice to raise awareness of what Coronavirus is, how to reduce the risk of the virus spreading and what to do if you’re showing symptoms.

This free resource is for anyone wishing to find out more about Coronavirus and how to minimise its impact.

Raising Awareness: Watch the 8 minute video below and share with friends, family and staff!

Fear of the unknown and feeling like we have a lack of control certainly contributes to further panic. But what’s important is learning what there is to know at the moment, and how this information can help us to take preventive measures, whilst also knowing what to do if further action is needed.

Thankfully, there are a few things that can be done.

With this in mind, iHASCO felt it is their duty to use their expertise and resources to provide a free online awareness video about the Coronavirus.

Here is a link to the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exOSi6ZEadI&feature=youtu.be

Coronavirus

16th March 2020

Government Guidelines

-  Stay at home

-  Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)

-  If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times

-  Wash your hands as soon as you get home

- Do not meet others, even friends or family. You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.

http://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

DAD Support to staff, volunteers and users

16th March 2020

We want to make sure that our staff, volunteers and people we support are safe during the Coronavirus outbreak

As a result, we will be changing the way we work:

From Monday 23 March 2020 our services will not be doing home visits until further notice, unless it is essential, although we can still support you by phone using the usual numbers 01325 489999 or 01325 360524.

To protect the people we support and our staff and volunteers we are following the Government guidance and all activities at The Independent Living Hub at West Lodge, West Crescent have been cancelled, this includes Monday night sessions, Young Leaders, Mentoring for Independence, Subway Healthy Hearts, Short breaks and Skills for Care training, and sessions will not be running until further notice.

Peoples Parliament and all Direct Payment Peer Support Groups have also had to be cancelled.

DASH will not be running activities during the Easter holidays. All other services will be working as normally as possible under the current circumstances depending on the levels of staff available.

We have already arranged for all our staff who are at high risk to be at home and work from there if it all possible. We are actively planning what we can do to provide information and support people in this difficult time and will be in regular contact with people we support.

Daily Updates Coronavirus

13th March 2020

Daily updates about the Coronavirus

There has been lots of information on the News about Coronavirus.

This easy read information tells you more about what Coronavirus is, how you get Coronavirus, the symptoms and what you should do if you think you have Coronavirus.

You can find daily updates on the Government website https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

or you can find more information on the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

These updates are not easy read so you may need some support to read the information. Link to an easy read version https://inclusionnorth.org/coronavirus-easy-read-information/

NHS Consultation Information for Stroke Rehabilitation and Ward 6 at Bishop Auckland

28th January 2020

The three NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups in County Durham and Darlington (NHS Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield CCG (DDES), Darlington CCG and North Durham CCG) have launched two public consultations to ask local people to share their views and ideas on Stroke Rehabilitation Services and Inpatient Rehabilitation (Ward 6) at Bishop Auckland Hospital.

There will be four public events for each consultation:

Stroke Rehabilitation public events

Saturday 25 January 2020:   10.00am - 12noon    Bishop Auckland Football Club

Tuesday 4 February 2020:     6.00pm - 8.00pm      Durham Town Hall

Thursday 6 February 2020:    10.00am - 12noon    The Witham, Barnard Castle

Tuesday 11 February 2020:    1.00pm - 3.00pm      St Augustines Parish Centre, Darlington

 

Ward 6 public events

Thursday 30 January 2020:      10.00am -12 noon     Durham Town Hall event

Saturday 8 February 2020:        10.00am -12 noon    The Witham, Barnard Castle event

Wednesday 12 February 2020:  6.00pm - 8.00pm      Football Club, Bishop Auckland event

Tuesday 25 February 2020:       1.00pm - 3.00pm       St Augustines Parish Centre, Darlington event

 

To book a place please go to https://northdurhamccg.nhs.uk/involve-me/ward-6-consultation/

 

Ways in which people can get involved

1. Complete the Stroke Rehabilitation consultation survey and Inpatient Rehabilitation (Ward 6) consultation survey

2. Visit the websites for full details on the consultation and to read the full consultation document: Stroke Rehabilitation Services and  Ward 6

3. Sign up to MY NHS

4. Follow these social media platforms:

NHS Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield CCG Facebook  and Twitter

NHS Darlington CCG Facebook and Twitter

NHS North Durham CCG Facebook and Twitter

If you have any questions please call the CCG Engagement Teams on 0191 389 8609 and leave your name, email address or phone number or email the team

 

We can provide versions of the consultation document in other languages and formats such as Braille and large print on request. Please contact the NECS Communications Team on 01642 745401.

How to contact DAD by telephone regarding Hate Crime has been expanded

30th May 2019

How to contact D.A.D by telephone regarding Hate Crime has been expanded. Follow this link for more information about Hate Crime.

Direct Payment Support Service Vacancies page update

24th May 2019

See the update Direct Payment Support Service Vacancies.

Mayor's Ball

01st May 2019

DAD Young Leaders supporting and rocking the Mayor's Ball with The Mayor, Cllr Veronica Copeland. One of the final events to mark the Mayor's year in office and add to the amazing fundraising for the three charities DAD, The British Legion and The 700 Club. Many thanks to Barcays Bank for match funding the funds raised from the Ball.

Photo showing several Young Leaders with Mthe mayor, Cllr Veronica Copeland
(The above photo shows the Mayor with several of DAD's Young Leaders)

Visit to Town Hall

09th April 2019

Young People from DAD enjoyed a visit to Darlington Town Hall last week after being invited to visit by Darlington Mayor, Councillor Veronica Copeland.

The Mayor gave a tour of the Mayor’s Parlour and talked to young people about the role of the Mayor and local disability history with the opportunity for young people to ask the Mayor questions.

They all really enjoyed the evening and thank the Mayor for inviting them.

Photo showing Young People and Staff with Mayor Veronica Copeland
(The above photo shows DAD Young People and some Staff members with Darlington Mayor, Councillor Veronica Copeland)

DAD invited to the opening of the new B&M Store in Darlington

03rd September 2018

As part of the opening celebrations, Darlington Association on Disability were invited along as VIP guests for the day and to open the new store.

In addition to opening the store, DAD also received £250 worth of B&M vouchers as a thank you for taking part and for all our work in the local area.

A big thank you to B&M for inviting us to be part of your opening celebrations and for the vouchers!

 
 

How you can support us

As a local organisation we very much rely on the support of our local community, and continue to support people flexibly to have greater choice and control and remove the barriers that disabled people and children experience in their everyday lives. We support over 2,000 people every year.  But we need your help.

Click here to find out how you can support us

 
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