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The proportion of people with learning disabilities who have died with coronavirus is higher than that of people in care homes.

But nobody seems to want to mention that.

Is it because we’ve been told for the last 10 years that they are scroungers and skivers?

Between the March 16 and May 10, 1,029 people with a learning disability died in England, with 45 per cent, 467, linked to coronavirus.

Overall the number of deaths during the eight weeks is 550 more than would be expected when compared to the same period last year.

The charity Mencap warned people with a learning disability were “being forgotten in this crisis” and called for action to tackle what it said could be “potentially discriminatory practice.”

It highlighted the percentage of Covid-19 related deaths among learning disabled people was higher than those in care homes, where the proportion of Covid-19 deaths was 31 per cent for the same period.

The data has been published after an outcry over the lack of transparency about the impact of Covid-19 on mental health patients and people with a learning disability or autism.

A spokesperson for NHS England said the number of deaths was “broadly in line with the rest of the population”. This is clearly not true.

The simple fact is that double the normal number of people with a learning disability are dying – but they continue to be forgotten and, according to Mencap chief Edel Harris, they are “forgotten in this crisis”.

Forgotten? Maybe.

Or maybe that was the intention.

The fact is that the Conservative government – which has a history of discrimination against people with any kind of disability – tried to hide the figures.

People don’t do that if they have a clear conscience. They do it if they feel guilty.

Let’s remember to demand an independent inquiry into these deaths, with a focus on whether there was a deliberate move to focus resources – and attention – away from helping people with learning disabilities.

Source: Coronavirus: Hundreds of learning disability deaths in just eight weeks, new data shows | The Independent

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