It is really sad to see the statistics released yesterday which show that people with a learning disability are 6 times more likely than average to die of coronavirus.

These findings must be viewed alongside what we already know about mortality in those with a learning disability. The Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LEDER) in its 4th annual review this year, showed that people with a learning disability die on average over 24 years younger than the average. The fourth annual review of LEDER also showed that people with a learning disability are twice as likely to die in avoidable circumstances. These are shocking statistics.

The implementation of measures to protect people from Covid-19 are of course complex and there is no easy answer. It is however sad to see yet a further demonstration that these, some of the most vulnerable people in society, are some of the worst affected by the pandemic.

Despite the positive recent news about vaccines, the pandemic and its impact will still be with us for some time and I fear that unless urgent action is taken these findings will be mirrored or worsened as further data emerges. The Care Minister has reportedly asked SAGE to review the finding and advise on further action. 

Hopefully, these findings will lead to prompt and careful consideration of how this area of society can be better protected as the pandemic continues, but also a better knowledge and understanding of the wider issue of mortality in people with a learning disability, so that real positive change can be achieved.