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Click on this link to read the full research document Final_FullDocument

On 20th November 2019 New Forest Mencap launched the research it commissioned which was carried out out by Professor Rachel Forrester-Jones from the University of Bath

We also received good local media coverage and you can see the BBC South News report here

Places are going fast for The New Forest Gateway Award sessions which will re-start on Tuesday 10 September 2019 from 4.30 – 6.30 pm. If you would like to share recipe ideas and craft projects and try some games aimed at improving memory, literacy and numeracy why not come along? Please give us a call on 01425 621893 so we can make sure there is a space.

New Forest Mencap has recently commissioned research into the effects of caring for adults with learning disabilities on the parents/carers as they become older themselves.  New Forest Mencap will be hosting an event to disseminate the findings of this research into our local communities so do check back for further information.  In the meantime, here is the link to this important paper



New Forest Mencap hosts the monthly Yellow LIG meetings for our area (see map). Participants are people with a learning disability, private care providers, members of Hampshire Adult Services teams, parents, and invited professionals who update us on matters affecting the learning disabled community.Yellow LIG meetings

We have had interesting contributions from the South West Health Trust telling us about their work with Southampton Mencap and Southampton General Hospital in promoting Royal Mencap’s Treat Me Well campaign. The Trust aims to improve signage and make menus easier for patients to make selections; it aims to install a Changing Places toilet and has taken into account problems with long waits and will provide a quiet area for those who are disturbed by bustling environments. Voyage Care, a regular LIG participant recommended the Red Bag scheme whereby patients are sent to hospital with, essentially, a ‘grab’ bag containing personalised notes about likes and dislikes and potential behaviours (fear of needles etc), and notes about medication as well as the medication itself if appropriate. The bag should move with the patient as they travel round the hospital so all those attending that person is aware of all issues. The Trust’s representative has made a note to look into the scheme.

The South West Health Trust is also monitoring GP surgeries to ensure that everyone, including the parent carer, is receiving a properly conducted Annual Health Check. The checks should not be rushed, should be conducted by the GP and typically should last for about 40 minutes. The patient should come away with a report. Each GP surgery is awarded a traffic light and our area scores very well for good (green) lights. Each visit is worth £150 (at last count) to the surgery so it is vital that the Trust knows the visit is being conducted properly.

Members of the Accommodation team from Hampshire County Council have also given us briefings about the likelihood of people leaving home and entering supported living. This is a fraught issue with long waits that currently don’t take into account the age of the parents. New Forest Mencap will be attempting to highlight this issue further and press for the Council to acknowledge a family’s needs when parents reach retirement age if not sooner.

We are not aware of a mechanism that alerts the Council to the growing elderly parent population and the need to prepare to accommodate offspring who themselves are living longer. We believe
and we have said, that there should be at least a 5 year forward building plan to take this into account, for which parental agesneed to be captured. Now, this may contravene data protection, but we feel that if we can make a start by parents voluntarily providing details of their age and the age of their son or daughter, a better picture could be formed of what the requirement is going to be.

The Council is also trying to promote private rental and supported living accommodation over having people in care homes. The Fernmount site in New Milton (all flats accounted for) which we have previously highlighted is one such example. The landlord is a private landlord with whom a tenancy agreement is taken out but the Council procurers the onsite care provision. Currently many previous care homes are de-registering and switching to this supported living model.

These are just two of the subjects on the agenda and of course the financial constraints on local government spending is having a great impact on everything we talk about.

Concessionary bus pass

The concessionary bus pass is a national scheme so comes under national rules.

This means that anyone with this bus pass can

  • travel out of region
  • travel at any time of day including morning rush hour. However, be aware that it is Hampshire that has waived the time limitation and another county may not have done the same

People with a disability can apply for the bus pass on-line and it can be used in conjunction with the taxi share scheme.

Companion bus pass

This is NOT part of the national scheme.  It is a concession provided by Hampshire County Council.  Therefore the benefits are not conferred across border into say, Dorset or Southampton (which has its own Unitary Council status).

However, if you start your journey in Hampshire you can go across the county border but, in order to return the companion will need to buy a ticket as far as the county border.  The person with the disability will not have to do this because their own disability bus pass is part of the national scheme.

In addition the Companion Bus Pass has to be applied for by post and not on-line.

For more information you can go to

Hampshire County Council has developed a very good web site called Connect to Support Hampshire.  It is an online information and advice guide and directory of services for adults with care and support needs who live in Hampshire.  It is very good.

The Hounsdown Centre based in Totton has launched a scheme to find safe places to which people can go in an emergency or if they are scared.  They are asking shops and business to join the scheme by placing a Safe Place sign at their premises.  The Mencap shop in Ashley Road, New Milton will be pleased to join the scheme.

NHS England would like the support of Mencap network partners to raise awareness and help encourage more people with a learning disability to take up the offer of a free flu jab.

The key messages for people are:

  • See your doctor, nurse or a pharmacist to get the free flu jab
  • Don’t wait – get the flu jab as soon you can
  • The flu jab is free because you need it. If you get very ill you might even need to go to hospital.
  • The flu jab is an injection in your arm. Don’t let this stop you. The doctor, nurse or pharmacist will look after you.
  • The flu jab is very quick and can protect you from getting very ill.

But did you know that if you are a carer, you too are eligible for a free flu jab?

  • Care for someone with a learning disability? Get the flu jab so you do not get ill or pass the virus on.
  • If you are terrified of needles, ask your doctor about the nasal vaccine.
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