Disability reforms


by Rumbold
27th December, 2009 at 10:17 am    

Henrietta Spink, a disability campaigner who has two severely disabled boys, has set out what she thinks needs to be done to change disability provision in this country, including:

The 2001 Census suggests that there are 5.2 millions carers in England and Wales. Over £1.75 billion was spent on assessment and care management and £13.1 billion on adult social care by local authorities in 2007-8 across the UK…

Another key point of the campaign is the portability of care packages. At present we are trapped in Cornwall. My husband’s work is in the South East yet we have we no way of relocating, as to move would mean losing our care package. From our experience a new receiving local authority will not look at an existing care package and this is borne out by a letter we have from Ed Balls stating that the Welfare Bill makes no provision for rights to portable support, and that there is no guarantee about continuity of support, even for a transitional period.

Worth reading in full.


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  1. pickles

    Blog post:: Disability reforms http://bit.ly/7NjxI3




  1. MiriamBinder — on 27th December, 2009 at 3:15 am  

    The portability of care packaging is indeed an extremely valid point. Firstly, the convoluted process involved in setting up a relevant and tailored care package in the first instance is for many a breaking point in itself with all the intrusion and the requirements for various medical assessments as well as occupational therapy assessments both for the disabled as well as the carers in many instances. To have to undergo this process from scratch everytime you need to move is something that needs to be seriously considered and in many instances may well be enough to stop any thought of transporting the family.

    However there is also the additional issue that support available differs from location to location; the ol' postcode lottery of provision. Which also means that the convoluted process, though no less convoluted, may certainly end in different results; not all as suitable to the prevailing needs.

    Far too many agencies are involved in producing a single care package which complicates the provision even further.

  2. MaidMarian — on 27th December, 2009 at 9:35 am  

    Rumbold – I'll tell you what the problem with this link is. Worthy cause, yes, absolutely. But once again the moment something goes wrong with local provision the first response is to pack all the fault off to central government and demand that, 'something must be done,' centrally.

    This is where things get tough. My instinct is that there should be portability. But if provision for disability is to be localised and so on, that necessarily means differences. Localisation does run the risk of essentially promoting inequality.

    Sure, the process is probably too convoluted. Looking at the link, there appears to be an expectation that the courts will be involved – that alone should point to a system that is far too complicated for its own good.

    Should one localised authority be obligated to follow another one when a person decides to move? Now, of course, the disabled person probably doesn't care for such nicity – a point I take.

    But which is it Rumbold? Localism or localism till we don't like what that might entail? To be clear, I'm not getting at you. There is, of course, an entirely good argument that there should be a single centralised body that takes disability provision out of the hands of local authorities.

    But the link you provide is, at heart, another, 'something must be done,' article. That is it a good case doesn't change that.

  3. David Jones — on 27th December, 2009 at 10:29 pm  

    If you’re that concerned about disability you could make this site meet elementary accessibility guidelines.

  4. sarah — on 28th December, 2009 at 12:44 am  

    Cross posted at Same Difference, with thanks, as always. http://samedifference1.com/2009/12/28/disability-reforms/

  5. Rumbold — on 28th December, 2009 at 11:24 am  

    MaidMarian:

    But which is it Rumbold? Localism or localism till we don’t like what that might entail? To be clear, I’m not getting at you. There is, of course, an entirely good argument that there should be a single centralised body that takes disability provision out of the hands of local authorities.

    I would say let the local authorities manage the scheme, but have the money come from central government. That way there is no disincentive for local authorities when considering such applications.

    David Jones:

    Sorry, how does this website not meet ‘elementary accessibility guidelines’?

    Thanks Sarah.

  6. MaidMarian — on 28th December, 2009 at 12:23 pm  

    Rumbold – I can’t say that I agree, but thank you for taking the time to reply.

  7. Rumbold — on 28th December, 2009 at 12:38 pm  

    Sorry about the late reply- I wasn’t able to access my computer for most of the day (relatvies and friends visiting). The Christmas period should make posting easier, but ti doesn’t.

  8. halima — on 28th December, 2009 at 1:35 pm  

    “Sorry, how does this website not meet ‘elementary accessibility guidelines’?”

    I think we’re meant to have options for more user-friendly viewing, the BBC site is a good example. If you look at the top there are options for viewing, However, I imagine it costs so not sure what the resource implications would be.

  9. MiriamBinder — on 28th December, 2009 at 1:37 pm  

    “I would say let the local authorities manage the scheme, but have the money come from central government. That way there is no disincentive for local authorities when considering such applications.”

    I do believe, though I stand to be corrected, that is the way it is currently run but as the money isn’t necessarily ring-fenced it tends to get used up by the priorities that local authorities set themselves.

  10. Rumbold — on 28th December, 2009 at 4:18 pm  

    MiriamBinder:

    Well, this is the problem (if that is the case). The money needs to be ring-fenced, and this can be done fairly simply.

    Thank you for clarifying that Halima. I wouldn’t know how to do that. I wonder if any of our readers experience problems.

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