The UK government recently clarified it’s guidance on how many times you can leave your home if you have a significant health condition. You can now leave your house MORE than once a day if you have a specific need to exercise, in line with your care plan. This includes people with mental health conditions, autism and learning disabilities.
The guidance reads:
“You can leave your home for medical need. If you (or a person in your care) have a specific health condition that requires you to leave the home to maintain your health – including if that involves travel beyond your local area – then you can do so. This could, for example, include where individuals with learning disabilities or autism require specific exercise in an open space two or three times each day – ideally in line with a care plan agreed with a medical professional. Even in such cases, in order to reduce the spread of infection and protect those exercising, travel outside of the home should be limited, as close to your local area as possible, and you should remain at least 2 metres apart from anyone who is not a member of your household or a carer at all times.”
We welcome this clarification and call on community health professionals to write specific letters for those that this guidance affects. Although such letters are not required by law, having one with us might be the only way we’d feel confident to take up this right, or be able to stand our ground if stopped by police.
We are providing two template letters available for you to download which can then be filled in by your health professional, support worker or carer. The first is for those currently under a NHS mental health team and the second is for people who might be receiving more informal support, for example, through a charity. We hope by providing these templates we can help people advocate for their needs through whichever organisation they’re receiving support from.
We thank Dr Hisham Ziauddeen for providing us with the first template letter.