The report concludes that this move will see sick and disabled people forced into institutions, a move away from Independent Living which is both unwelcome and almost certainly illegal.
I've attached the press release below, and you can see the report by clicking on the link above (highlighted text) but do read down to the end if you would like to see the very moment that irony died. An image tweeted earlier in the month by the very same council.....
New council policy condemned as ‘flawed and wrong’ as national campaign group publishes report on Worcestershire care changes
In the wake of the white paper on social care and in light of recent uncovered abuses such as Winterbourne, Worcestershire County Council’s proposed changes to care for disabled people in the county have been condemned as ‘flawed and wrong’ by a national campaign group which has published a new report on the proposals.
‘Past Caring’, which has been published by the research team at the WeareSpartacus campaign group, analyses the county council’s proposals for a ‘maximum expenditure policy’, which would impose a cap, meaning that anyone needing significant amounts of support may have to go in to residential care. As well as criticising the council’s current consultation exercise, the report shows the new policy:
· Will mean disabled people get less support
· Will mean a deterioration in care standards and quality of life
· Could lead to disabled people forced into residential care, even if they don’t want to
· Could force disabled people to rely on charity for the help and support they need
· Goes against the recommendations of the Government’s flagship white paper on social care reform
· Could be open to a legal challenge
Dr Sarah Campbell, one of the report’s authors, said:
“We know that times are hard; disabled people in Worcestershire and across the country are being hit by cuts to benefits and social care services. But the county council’s approach is flawed and wrong. Flawed, because any ‘maximum expenditure policy’ will have a series of knock on effects for health and social care providers which may end up costing even more; and wrong, because disabled people should be encouraged and supported to live safely independently.
“Institutionalising disabled people is not the answer to the social care crisis, in Worcestershire or anywhere else.”
The report acknowledges the challenges facing local authorities across the country, but also highlights the principles of independence for disabled people, including a right to choose where and how they live, be part of their communities and have control over their day to day lives.
Jim D Smith, Secretary of Worcestershire Coalition for Independent Living, points out:
"In a week when the Queen visits the County to open a new £60 million library it’s sad to reflect that the lives of some individuals in the County are threatened by such negative proposals. These proposals, if implemented, will undermine a generation of progress towards independent living and cause real mental anguish for individuals and families.”
Local resident Steve Sumpter adds:
“The council needs to be more active with its consultation, and respond to the searching questions it’s refusing to answer. But disabled people, their friends and families also need to speak up. The consultation finishes this month (July), and it’s crucial their voices are heard. It’s also vital they contact their local councillors and MPs to express their views before the final decision is made at the end of September.”
ENDs For further information, contact Sarah at research@wearespartacus.
And the irony alert I promised?