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Information about this study

Coronavirus and people with learning disabilities study

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with learning disabilities and factors associated with better outcomes

Contacts

Chris Hatton (co-Primary Investigator) Richard Hastings (co- Primary Investigator)

Host institutions 

Department of Social Care and Social Work, Manchester Metropolitan University (Chris Hatton) Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research, University of Warwick (Richard Hastings)

Team members

Primary Investigators: Prof Richard Hastings (University of Warwick), Prof Chris Hatton (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Co-Investigators: Prof David Abbott (University of Bristol), Dr Stephen Beyer (Cardiff University), Dr Jill Bradshaw (University of Kent), Dr Nick Gore (University of Kent), Prof Pauline Heslop (University of Bristol), Prof Andrew Jahoda (University of Glasgow), Anna Marriott (National Development Team for Inclusion), Dr Katrina Scior (UCL), Dr Laurence Taggart (University of Ulster), Dr Stuart Todd (University of South Wales)

Partner organisations: Learning Disability Wales, All Wales Forum of Parents and Carers of People with Learning Disabilities, Scottish Commission for Learning Disability, Promoting A More Inclusive Society (PAMIS), Positive Futures, Mencap Northern Ireland, Learning Disability England, PMLD Link

Researchers: Dr Sue Caton (Manchester Metropolitan University), Dr Samantha Flynn (University of Warwick), Dr Tom Bailey (University of Warwick), Dr Amanda Gillooly (University of Glasgow), Dr Roseann Maguire (University of Glasgow), Dr Edward Oloidi (University of South Wales), Dr Peter Mulhall (University of Ulster)

Funding information

UKRI-COVID-19 research programme

Project summary

We are aiming to answer three key questions in this project:

  1. What are the wellbeing, health and social effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including social restrictions and changes to how people are supported, on the lives of adults with learning disabilities across the UK over time?
  1. What actionable factors are associated with better outcomes for: a) people with mild/moderate learning disabilities; b) people with severe/profound learning disabilities?
  1. What urgent issues concerning people with learning disabilities are emerging over time?
We aimed to recruit 1000 people with learning disabilities across the UK, and 500 family carers or paid support staff of people with learning disabilities who could not take part in an interview themselves. This was broken down by country, with a target of interviewing 400 people with

learning disabilities in England and 200 each in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. For the surveys with family carers or paid support staff, we aimed to receive responses from 200 people in England and 100 each in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

This project is designed to have direct input from and relevance to policy-makers, service commissioners and providers, people with learning disabilities and families across the UK throughout the 12-month project. There will be three ‘Waves’ of data collections to capture differences over time during the COVID-19 pandemic, so we will interview or survey all participants three times (once per ‘Wave’) during the project.

There are two Cohorts of participants:

  • Cohort 1 are people with learning disabilities who can take part in an interview with a researcher themselves. This cohort will take part in an interview (e.g., telephone, video-call) with a researcher three times over the course of the project.
  • Cohort 2 are family carers and support staff of people with learning disabilities who cannot take part in an interview themselves. This cohort will complete an online survey three times over the course of the project.
Sharing the findings

We will write Easy Read reports, short reports, videos, online presentations, blogposts, and other summaries of urgent and emerging issues. Interim findings will be shared through infographics, Easy Read reports and blogposts.

We will share results throughout the project.

We will also publish peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals.