Please help our research on charging for Social Care – DPAC

Carer Voice

Following on from the Independent Living Strategy Group report into charging for social care we’d like to get more information on charging and how it is affecting people.

Please could people fill in details in the form below.

Could you also email us at if you’d be willing to speak to the journalist Frances Ryan about charging and it’s impact on your lives and support.

We are also looking for someone who is willing to be in a video about the negative impact charging has on their ability to access the care and support they need or who has been left in debt by these charges for use in a separate campaign. Again please email us at if you are interested.

The ILSG report can be viewed

To proceed to the form to fill in please clink link here

Source: Please help our research on charging for…

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Shocking survey results show ‘yawning gap’ between Care Act and real life

Original post from Disabled Go News


Woman in wheelchair

Nearly half of disabled people receiving care and support from their local authority say their quality of life has fallen in the last year, despite major new legislation designed to boost their well-being, choice and control.

The survey of 399 disabled people was carried out by the Independent Living Strategy Group (ILSG) – some of whose members were part of the independent living movement in the 1970s –as part of a report assessing the impact of the Care Act 2014 on choice and control.

The group was set up by a broad range of disabled activists and disability organisations concerned about the potential impact of welfare reform and cuts to public services on independent living, and the government’s failure to follow through on its 2010 pledge to monitor the implementation of Labour’s independent living strategy.

Members of the group include Baroness [Jane] Campbell, the leading activist John Evans, the Spinal Injuries Association, Inclusion London, Scope and Disability Rights UK.

Their report was funded and published by In Control, the charity which helped develop the idea of personal budgets*.

ILSG members wanted to find out how local authorities were following “the spirit and letter of the Care Act and its statutory guidance in seeking to optimise choice and control”, which they say is “fundamental” to the Care Act’s “core purpose” of helping people achieve the outcomes that matter to them.

More than 45 per cent of those surveyed said their quality of life had reduced over the past year, including 18 per cent who said it had fallen significantly.

Almost 30 per cent said they had experienced a reduction in choice and control over their support in the past year, while only eight per cent said it had increased.

And nearly 30 per cent of respondents said restrictions had been placed on their use of direct payments or personal budgets.

The report warns that social care spending by local authorities had already fallen by £4.6 billion from 2010-11 to 2014-15 – a real terms cut of 31 per cent – while the government’s imminent spending review had “opened the door to even deeper cuts in the years to come”.

Some councils have introduced restrictions on how disabled people can spend their personal budgets, such as banning them from using them to pay for gym memberships, or for personal assistants to accompany them on outings.

Others have imposed a “cost ceiling”, which means the council will pay no more for independent living than the cost of a residential care placement, despite Care Act guidance making it clear that such practices are unacceptable.

The report calls on central government to ensure that funding to local authorities is “sufficient to enable them to meet their statutory obligations as a minimum, let alone the broader goals and aspirations of the Care Act in respect of prevention and well-being”.

But it also says that there are many things councils can do, “irrespective of their financial position”, to promote choice and control and “strive to meet the letter and spirit of the Care Act 2014”.

Jenny Morris, one of the report’s authors and another ILSG member, said the survey results were “very shocking”.

She there was a “yawning gap between the welcome principles of the Care Act 2014 and what is actually happening to older and disabled people”.

She said: “The whole value system behind personal budgets is incompatible with the massive reduction in expenditure on social care which local authorities are facing.

“There are some local authorities where a significant proportion of social workers and managers are not signed up to the choice and control agenda, but any progress is being made almost impossible by the massive reductions in the funding available.”

She said: “Personal budgets were supposed to enable everyone who needed social care support to have the kind of choice and control that was previously only open to those receiving direct payments.

“Instead, they have been rolled out in the context of a major financial crisis facing adult social care, and the result is not only a reduction in choice but also a decrease in the quality of people’s everyday lives. This is the government’s responsibility and they must act.”

She said ILSG would continue to monitor the state of independent living, including through future surveys.

And she called on councils to “make it clear to government that the current financial climate is incompatible with what they are required to do, according to the Care Act and the statutory guidance that accompanies it”.

Sue Bott, deputy chief executive of Disability Rights UK, added: “Local authorities might argue that it is early days in the implementation of the Care Act, but if you don’t start as you mean to go on then the spirit of the act will never be implemented.

“This report demonstrates, and the calls to our advice line also show, that disabled people are being denied choice and control over how support needs are met and that independent living is being fundamentally undermined.”

*A personal budget is a sum of money allocated by a local authority to meet a person’s care and support needs, while direct payments allow a disabled person to take such a care package as a cash payment

News provided by John Pring at


Hi I’m Aden, I work at DisabledGo as the Digital Marketing Manager and I manage the blog and all social media channels.

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Care Act 2014: Information gap ‘denying’ people sufficient choice and control over care

Original post from Community Care

‘……………… Andy McNicoll

Campaigners claim ‘yawning gap’ exists between policy and practice as research suggests local authorities are struggling with some reforms

Photo: Gary Brigden
Photo: Gary Brigden

Local authorities are denying people sufficient “choice and control” over the care and support they receive under the Care Act 2014, according to research published last week.

A review of Care Act materials produced by local authorities found that councils “generally” failed to give people adequate information about their rights to different care options locally. The situation left people unable to exercise sufficient choice and control over their care, despite this being a core principle of the act itself, researchers found.

The study, carried out by the Independent Living Strategy Group and published by the charity In-Control, marks one of the first gauges of how the Care Act has been implemented since the legislation came into force on April 1.

The act places a duty on councils to provide information and advice for all people in their area. The statutory guidance underpinning the legislation states that this must include the choice of types of care and support, and the choice of care providers, available locally.

Under the legislation, all service users assessed as having eligible needs are entitled to a personal budget. But InControl’s review found that this entitlement was ‘rarely emphasised’ in quick guides to the Care Act produced by some councils.

Researchers also found evidence of some local authorities inferring that people opting to have their personal budget managed by the council would have less control over how it was spent than if they chose to receive a direct payment. The Care Act guidance states that the way a person opts to manage a personal budget should put “no constraint” on how their needs are met as long as “this is reasonable”.

Official figures show that in 2014-15 most people supported in the community by local authorities had a council-managed personal budget (57%) and just 24% received a direct payment. Among people aged over 65, 65% of community-based clients had a council-managed personal budget and 20% had a direct payment.

The researchers also asked people in receipt of care and support about their experiences of services over the year prior to the Care Act coming into force.

Of 399 people who responded to the survey, almost half felt their quality of life had reduced and almost a third (30%) said that they had experienced a reduction of choice and control. Some 29% reported restrictions being placed on their use of direct payments or personal budgets, with 14% limited to choosing their care from a shortlist of providers. The study authors said these limited lists are at odds with the “vision of personalised care” underpinning the Care Act.

The researchers acknowledged that councils were “struggling to adjust to unprecedented cuts” but said providing more choice and control to people should be embraced as a “much-needed solution” to the challenges facing social care.

Disability researcher Jenny Morris said there was a “yawning gap” between the principles of the act and how it was being implemented in practice.

“Personal budgets were supposed to enable everyone who needed social care support to have the kind of choice and control that was previously only open to those receiving direct payments. Instead, they have been rolled out in the context of a major financial crisis facing adult social care, and the result is not only a reduction in choice but also a decrease in the quality of people’s everyday lives,” she said.

“This is the government’s responsibility and they must act.”

In a bid to help local authorities meet their Care Act obligations, In-Control has produced a checklist of information for people receiving care and support.

The survey also provided an insight into the experiences of some people who had been supported by the“choice and control” prior to its closure in June of this year. Of the survey respondents who were transitioning from ILF to council support, 14.5% said they had been told they should expect less support in the future while most (56.5%) had not been told whether their support would change.  ………………’