Supported by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has completed a targeted piece of analysis to better understand the impact of coronavirus on people with a learning disability, some of whom may be autistic, and how the number of deaths during this period compares to the number of deaths last year.

The analysis looked at all deaths notified to CQC between 10 April and 15 May from providers registered with CQC who provide care to people with a learning disability and/or autism (including providers of adult social care, independent hospitals and in the community) and where the person who died was indicated to have a learning disability on the death notification form.

This data shows that between 10 April and 15 May this year, 386 people with a learning disability, some of whom may also be autistic, died who were receiving care from services which provide support for people with a learning disability and/or autism. This is a 134% increase in the number death notifications compared to the same period last year.

Every death in these figures represents and individual tragedy for those who have lost a loved one. The figures show that the impact on this group of people is being felt at a younger age range than in the wider population – something that should be considered in decisions on testing of people of working age with a learning disability and/or autism.

You can read more on the CQC website here.

Similar data released by NHS England revealed that 1,029 people with a learning disability died in England between March 16 and May 10, with 45.4% (467) reported to The Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) linked to coronavirus.

Responding to this data, learning disabilities charity Mencap said this is a higher percentage than the proportion of COVID-19-related deaths in care homes, at 31.1%.

Mencap warned that people with a learning disability are “being forgotten in this crisis” and called for urgent action to address “address any potentially discriminatory practice now”.

You can read more here.