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COVID-19 and LD deaths

Date: Thursday, 04th Mar 2021 | Category: General

Below is a statement from Alison Chapman, Chair of the Vulnerable Adults Mortality (VAM) panel in regards to reports about the number of deaths of adults with a learning disability:

“There have been claims in the media about the high number of deaths of people with a learning disability being related to COVID-19.

All deaths of those with a learning disability in Oxfordshire are reviewed, in line with the LeDeR guidance. The Safeguarding Board can confirm that at present, our total number of reported deaths is at the same level as 2019, with COVID-related deaths according to death certificate accounting for fewer than 10 deaths in total. There have been several deaths where COVID symptoms were not confirmed by tests, but even if these were included, the figure remains lower than 30% of the total number of deaths in the last 12 months.

The number of notifications of death recorded for people with a learning disability for the past 3 years are:

  • 2018 = 46
  • 2019 = 49
  • 2020 = 44

There have been more hospital admissions in this most recent lock down than in the previous one and some needed intensive treatment, however, recovery and discharge home was the outcome for the majority of these admissions.

The Vulnerable Adults Mortality (VAM) Group and LeDeR have continued to operate throughout the COVID times. There has been an increased frequency of meetings, where we are diligently, always, considering the COVID question, and there are regular updates to the Safeguarding Board about the LeDeR reviews.

The VAM group are about to start developing their annual report and are asking local learning disability support organisations to contribute to this process, to help review the themes and identify areas of development and focus for next year.”