An Open Letter to Matt Hancock

On Monday we asked Learning Disability England members to sign an open letter to Matt Hanock.

Since then 400 people and organisations have supported the letter!

You can download the letter here

Throughout the pandemic people with learning disabilities and their families have told us they have been forgotten and ignored in debates, planning and policy.

People have told us about:

  • unlawful Do Not Attempt Resuscitation orders
  • about restrictive visiting policies
  • losing social care support
  • having no accessible information when the rules have changed.

Last week the latest LeDeR Report (12 November 2020) was published and estimates that people with learning disabilities are dying of COVID-19 at 3.6 times the rate of the general population.

The letter talks about the recommendations from the Social Care Taskforce’s Learning Disability Advisory Group on what the government should do to improve people’s lives during the pandemic.

As members, you told us very clearly that you support the recommendations in the survey we did last month.

You can read what people said it is important to do here

Wendy Burt, Rep Body Co Chair for families and friends said:

“There have been many stories in the media and many blogs about the stress and frustration experienced by families and support organisations during the outbreak. The Learning Disability England survey findings echo how important the Advisory Group’s recommendations to the Social Care Task Force are; and this is highlighted again by the recent PHE and LeDeR reports. Yet they have still not been included in the Task Force report. I urge Matt Hancock to take action, and I ask that all members of Learning Disability England come to the meeting on 26 November so we can share experiences and solutions and take action together.”

We want to act together to make sure people with learning disabilities start to be at heart of all planning & responses not forgotten, ignored, or added in later.

The recent evidence of disproportionate death shows the need to do this even more.

We are asking all Learning Disability England members to take action together to stop people more people from dying or struggling through COVID-19.

We have two other ways for you to take action

Sign the letter to Matt Hancock

You can still sign the letter to Matt Hancock

Click here to add your name

Write to your MP and ask others to

We have written a template letter that you can send to your MP

Download the template here.

Download the easy read here.

You can use this website to find the name and contact details of your MP

Jordan Smith,  Rep Body Co-Chair and self advocate said:

“The death rate during COVID of people with learning disabilities is simply not acceptable. Too often we are forgotten, ignored, or added into planning too late. We need  information to keep ourselves safe, yet have not had easy read and accessible information from the government at the same time as guidance or lockdown rules are changed. I call on Matt Hancock to take action, and I ask every self-advocate to use the easy read template to write to their MP today. Our strength is in joining our voices together to make ourselves heard”.


We would like to take this opportunity to invite you to the next LDE event, the Covid 19 – what we have learnt and changed workshop.

26th November 10-11.30am on Zoom

This workshop is open to all members and will include:

  • Self-advocates from Dorset and Rotherham on what local groups are doing
  • Professor Chris Hatton explaining the data and what it might suggest we do differently
  • Certitude sharing how they review their work every time someone they support dies and what actions they have taken as a result
  • CVT team members on supporting everyone’s well-being as equals whatever their role
  • Commissioners on their role in learning and supporting change across an area

Book your place here.

Learning Disability England will carry on its work with you as members trying to find solutions together.

We will also carry on working with the government & NHS England (in partnership with others) to work to towards the changes we need.

We hope you will join other members, standing together by signing the open letter and sending your own letter to your MP.