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18th January 2013

Report from charities a plea to not to forget the needs of the disabled in social care reforms

Mencap chief says disabled failed by social care system

This week saw the publication of research by a group of five leading charities. The report - ‘The other care crisis’ is the result of work by five leading disability charities: Mencap, Scope, The National Autistic Society, Sense and Leonard Cheshire Disability.

The 52 page document states that social care for working age adults is under-funded by at least £1.2 billion; that 40% of disabled people do not have their basic needs met; and that by 2015 council budgets will have shrunk by 28%.

In the supporting news release, Mark Goldring, Mencap’s chief executive says “It is unforgiveable that there are disabled people in England today who aren’t given support for these basic needs, because the social care system has failed them.”

Interests of the disabled overshadowed by the ageing population

One of the big drivers behind the report is ensuring the interests of the disabled are not forgotten in the social care debate. One third of all of those using the social care system are working age disabled people, and the report puts over the view that the discussions on social care issues tends to be dominated by the demands of meeting the needs of an aging population.

The report points out that as the instrument of social care reform, the government’s Draft Care and Support Bill is attempting to address the postcode lottery by proposing a national standard eligibility threshold, to standardise the criteria that determine who qualifies for social care support.

However, it is believed that the government will set the minimum threshold at ‘substantial’ rather than ‘moderate’ and this will mean that 107,000 people will be denied the right to basic support funded by the state.

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