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Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commisioning Group

Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commisioning Group

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Helping people with learning disability or autism stay connected during Covid-19 pandemic

Helping people with learning disability or autism stay connected during Covid-19 pandemic

A new ‘Keeping People Connected’ service is set to support people with learning disability or autism in Newcastle and Gateshead during the Covid-19 pandemic.

People with learning disability or autism may be increasingly vulnerable during the current Covid-19 lockdown conditions, so the free service has been launched by local organisations with NHS support.

Chris Piercy, Executive Director of Nursing, Patient Safety and Quality at NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG, said: “These are strange times for us all, and we especially want to help vulnerable people who may feel isolated, or worry about how to solve problems, get food or medication.

“For some people, a regular phone call from a trained, friendly person can help them stay safe and healthy.

“If you are concerned about someone who may be vulnerable, please encourage them to contact the service.

“Even if you are not sure if a person has a learning disability or autism, but it’s clear they are feeling isolated and in need, please refer them to our service. Staff can then evaluate how safe they are, what extra help they may need, and connect them to services that can help.

“We want to help people stay safe, healthy and not feel alone at this difficult time.”

In Newcastle, the service is run by Skills for People on 0191 281 8737 or email connected@skillsforpeople.org.uk.

In Gateshead, the service is operated by Your Voice Counts on 0191 478 6472.

If you are concerned about someone, simply ask them to call the service. If it is easier, you can ask for their permission to pass on their details, and the team will then get in touch with them, confirm their consent and offer support.