Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I don't want to live in Worcestershire

I'm sure it's a perfectly nice place,  Beautiful landscape, probably very nice people.  But not a good place to be if you're disabled.

The County Council there is proposing to limit the amount it will pay on social care for disabled people to a maximum of what it will pay for residential care - currently estimated at £411 a week.  What this means in practice (assuming the proposals go through) is that many of the new people coming into adult social care, or  existing people with a disability whose circumstances change at all, will no longer be able to live independently.  They will either have to go into residential care or find a 'free' way of filling the care gap - family carers doing it for nothing again or going without important items of care.  And the more disabled you are, the less likely it is that you will be able to live independently.  Certainly my own son would not have been able to live 'in the community' on this.

My thanks to the person who flagged this up to me in his comment to my last post, and to the various people who are publicising this invidious proposal - Sue Marsh in the Guardian , Mithran Samuel in Community Care and Lucy Series in her The Small Places blog .  To its (slight) credit, Worcestershire County Council has spelt out it's policy in Easy Read form so that people with a learning disability might have a chance of seeing how it intends to cut their services - if they can find it on their very complicated website.

If Worcestershire get away with this, other Social Services Departments will quickly follow on.  Tell your disabled friends and their carers that - you don't want to live in Worcestershire, and why.

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