Archives for posts with tag: independent living

The process of exiting the European Union (EU) could worsen the social care crisis if the UK government does not protect access to personal assistants (PAs) from EU countries, disabled peers have warned. They told a work and pensions minister that uncertainty over the “Brexit” negotiations with fellow EU members was leading to “terrible uncertainty” among the thousands of disabled people whose PAs are citizens of other EU countries. But peers heard that there was not a single mention of disabled people or disability in the government’s white paper on Brexit. The disabled crossbench peer Baroness Campbell told the Lords debate on the impact of Brexit on disabled people – secured by the Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Scott – that she had employed PAs from at least 10 EU countries in the last 25 years. Baroness Campbell told fellow peers that other disabled people who employed PAs had told her that the pool of potential employees was “drying up”, while demand continued to rise, which

Source: ‘Hard Brexit’ could see disabled people lose right to independent living, say peers | DisabledGo News and Blog


Benefits Disability Austerity Welfare Public sector cuts

Source: Luke can’t move, drink or use the loo. The council offered him a tea urn | Frances Ryan | Opinion | The Guardian


Source: Should Disabled People be Concerned After Brexit? | Disability Sheffield


A new All Party Parliamentary Group report on housing and care for older people calls for a significant change in the focus of Government policy away from

Source: New parliamentary group’s report calls for major shift in Government policy on housing and care for older people | Care Industry News


A young woman with autism who lives in Littlehampton is benefiting from a pioneering new way of supporting people with autism and complex needs to live a more

Source: New way of supporting people with autism and complex needs leads to living a more independent life | Care Industry News


The use of peer support to help disabled people into sustainable jobs could prove as important in promoting independent living as the development of direct payments, according to a leading figure in the disability movement. Andy Rickell, a former chief executive of the British Council of Disabled People, called on the government to realise that its ambition to halve the disability employment gap could only be achieved if other aspects of independent living were not ignored. He said the government needed to understand that equal employment opportunities for disabled people were only possible if the other 11 “pillars of independent living” – which include appropriate and accessible health and social care provision, accessible and adapted housing, and adequate provision of personal assistance – were also in place. He said: “All the 12 pillars have to stack up for disabled people’s employment to work.” He said disabled people’s support was a “house of cards” and that the government was “in

Source: Peer support for job-seekers ‘could prove as important as direct payments’ | DisabledGo News and Blog


A cost-cutting council is set to introduce new policies that will force disabled people with high-cost support packages out of their own homes and into residential and nursing institutions. Labour-run Southampton city council wants to cut its adult social care budget by £1.5 million in 2016-17. As part of those cuts, it wants to increase the use of telecare – such as personal alarms and sensors – so that it can reduce the need for visits from care workers and routine “wellbeing” checks, while also increasing care charges. But it also plans to review the personal budgets of every disabled person with a package of more than £500 a week, and consider if it would be cheaper to fund them for extra care housing, or nursing or residential care. A new council consultation – which ends on 31 January, or 14 January via an online survey – points out that 212 people in the city have care packages of more than £500 per week, which is “much higher” than the standard rate for residential care of £369

Source: Threat to independent living as council plots raid on high-cost care | DisabledGo News and Blog


Original post from Disabled Go News

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A disabled woman died in a house fire, despite her family repeatedly warning the authorities about the risks caused by a care package which left her with no support for two hours every day, a safeguarding review has concluded.

Amanda Richards was only given a 22-hour care package after moving from residential care into her own bungalow in 2006.

But social services and health agencies in Coventry knew the mother-of-two was a smoker, that a progressive, degenerative condition meant her mobility, memory and speech were slowly deteriorating, and that she also had poor “hand to mouth coordination”.

Now a serious incident review has concluded that these factors “put her at risk, especially from fire, during the two hour unsupervised period when she was smoking”.

She died in an intense fire in December 2013 which “took hold rapidly” while she was alone in her bungalow, and was probably caused by a dropped cigarette, match or lighter.

The review also concluded that her “lack of mobility significantly affected her ability to react to or escape from the fire”.

But the report’s authors said they could not conclude that she would definitely have survived if there had been a care worker with her, although there had been no attempt to “assess the advisability of leaving [her] unsupervised for a two hour period”.

The review concluded: “Risk relating to fire associated with her smoking while unsupervised was not sufficiently explored in the assessments or care plan, despite acknowledgement of [her] lack of awareness of hazards coupled with knowledge of her smoking habit and her difficulties in coordination and dropping items.”

A report in 2007 had concluded that Richards needed “additional support in making everyday decisions and has apparently little insight into her difficulties”, but it was not shared with all the agencies involved in her care.

Another opportunity to assess her needs – and the risks she faced – was missed four years later, when the health component of her care funding was withdrawn.

Julie Moseley, who also lives in Coventry, has a progressive condition and is a smoker, said the case was “appalling” and “totally depressing”.

She said: “I could well be in a similar position in a few years. I do tend to drop cigarettes myself. I do smoke outdoors or in the kitchen but when my mobility is limited that might not be so easy.

“I have been trying to imagine myself in that situation and it is an absolutely horrible way to die for the want of two hours care.

“Given that she already had 22 hours care, it seems ridiculous that she could have been alive if they hadn’t saved just 10 per cent of her budget.

“I increasingly feel that I do not want to live in a society that puts the whims of the rich over the needs of the vulnerable, and demonises the needy.”

Moseley also claimed that research showed smoking could be effective self-medication for people with neurological conditions.

Eleanor Lisney, a disabled activist from Coventry, and a co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts, said the case had made her “very sad and angry”.

She said: “Coventry has a Labour council but they had not voted against cuts – and Amanda Richards is one of their victims.”

She said that Richards was not Coventry’s only victim of austerity cuts, and pointed to the deaths of Mark and Helen Mullins.

Mullins was also not assessed properly by social services, claimed Lisney, and she added: “That was in 2011, and things have not got better. I suspect that they will get much worse.”

Despite repeated requests by Disability News Service, neither Coventry City Council nor Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group (CRCCG) have been willing to answer key questions about the Amanda Richards case.

Meanwhile, the Care Quality Commission’s annual State of Care report for England has found that, in the year to 31 May 2015, one in 10 adult social care services that received a rating were judged to be “inadequate” for safety, with another third requiring improvement.

And more than four out of 10 adult social care services inspected by CQC were rated as inadequate or “requiring improvement”, with just one per cent viewed as “outstanding”.

Only 17 per cent of adult social care services were inspected and rated by CQC during the year.

The report concludes: “The adult social care sector is under pressure and there are issues around the sustainability of provision, due to the increasing complexity of people’s care needs, significant cuts to local authority budgets, increasing costs, high vacancy rates, and pressure from local commissioners to keep fees as low as possible.”

News provided by John Pring at www.disabilitynewsservice.com

Aden

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

More posts from author          …………’


Original post from Disabled Go News

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Gaping holes have been exposed in the government’s Independent Living Fund (ILF) promises, after a local authority slashed a disabled woman’s support by 48 hours a week when the fund closed.

Daisy* had been receiving 49 hours a week of ILF support, in addition to 35 hours of council support, but that package is now set to be cut to just 36 hours in total.

Hounslow council – which originally offered her just 21 hours a week, before it agreed to carry out another assessment – even suggested that she started using adult nappies, to lower her reliance on support from personal assistants and so “increase her independence”.

She has described the cuts as “demeaning, dehumanising and wrong and utterly, devastatingly traumatising”, and is now hoping to take legal action against the council over the cut to her support package.

ILF was run by the Department for Work and Pensions and when it closed on 30 June was helping nearly 17,000 disabled people with the highest support needs to live independently.

But the coalition government decided that it should close – despite a high-profile campaign to keep it open – promising instead that nine months’ worth of non-ring-fenced funding would be transferred through the Department for Communities and Local Government to councils in England, and to devolved governments in Wales and Scotland.

Announcing the date of the ILF closure, in March 2014, Mike Penning, at the time the minister for disabled people, said there had been “significant developments in how we provide social care to disabled people so they can live independent lives”, and that the government wanted to “make sure that disabled people are given the support that allows them to fulfil their potential”.

Instead, the transition process has been littered with reports of delays in reassessments for former ILF-users and cuts to their care packages, compounded by many local authorities failing to plan ahead for the closure.

Daisy, a wheelchair-user with a number of long-term health conditions, who needs support 24 hours a day, already has to rely on friends, family and personal assistants (PAs) to provide unpaid support for the rest of the week, even with a package of 84 hours a week support.

But she now fears the council’s decision will destroy her social life, her links with the community, her efforts to care for her 83-year-old mother, and her campaigning and activism, as well as risking falls, dislocations, pressure sores, infections and general deterioration of her physical and mental health.

She used ILF support to speak about the imminent closure of ILF at the Glastonbury Festival speakers forum in June, just days before the fund closed for good.

As part of the council’s offer of 36 hours of support a week, she will receive just two blocks of three-and-a-half hours of support for “accessing the community”.

Before she started receiving support from ILF, she said, she was rarely able to contribute to society.

Being offered just seven hours a week for excursions into the outside world has added to her “distress and feelings of panic, fear and dread and loss of control over her day-to-day life”.

She said that being supported by her PAs to campaign on disability rights, independent living and social inclusion has been of “significant importance” to her, as the government “abuses its position of power to make cruel and inhumane cuts to disability benefits and attacks the basic human rights of sick and disabled people”.

She has told her social worker that suggesting that she would have “greater independence by being put into incontinence pads so that she wold not be dependent on carers to help her to access the toilet is a prime example of this abuse and neglect”.

She has told the council that maintaining a home where she feels safe and secure has enabled her to be “more outgoing and more able to contribute to society”, and that removing that support will “seriously affect” her ability to be part of society.

A spokeswoman for Hounslow council confirmed that Daisy was now receiving just 36 hours of support per week.

She said: “An assessment of [her] needs was carried out by Hounslow council.

“The number of hours care which [she] is receiving as a direct payment is not based on what she received in the past, but what her needs are currently.”

She refused to say how many other former ILF-users had had their support packages cut by the council.

Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts, said they were aware of at least three other local authorities that were “slashing people’s care packages, in spite of the fact that they have had money devolved to them” from the government to cover the extra costs of former ILF-users.

And she said that no government department was monitoring the impact of the ILF closure, after DWP “dumped responsibility for it” when the fund closed.

Burnip said Daisy’s case showed that ministers were “liars”, but added: “I don’t think anybody ever believed them anyhow.”

*Not her real name

News provided by John Pring at www.disabilitynewsservice.com

Aden

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

More posts from author  ……….’

 

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