Welsh Mother Barbara MacArthur, 93, Talks About Being A Carer After Her Guardian Letter Goes Viral JULY 30, 2020

This is caring in the UK in the 21st century, while it is more akin to the 18th.

It should not be this way and Yes, Coronavirus, is the cause to some degree, but not all.

Social Care has been seriously under-funding for years, well before coronavirus and also, before austerity. Both have done their best to bring Social Care down, but Social Care was under-funded in 2010, due to many previous Governments not taking social care seriously and therefore never funding it sufficiently.

Now, social care, is not only seriously short of funding, but also staff to provide the care.

Many factors are the cause, one being the abysmal rate of pay to carers, which for many is only on or just above the National Living Wage and for those under 25 years, the National Minimum Wage.

Carers in many areas, especially the Government are classed as ‘unskilled, which is completely wrong, if care is being delivered correctly, which it always should be, but not in some instances.

Other factors include ‘conditions of employment, travel expenses, holiday and sick pay to mention a few.

As in the NHS, without non-UK workers, social care would be virtually non-existent, but the new regulations being put forward will make it more difficult for non-UK workers to come to the UK to working the Care Profession.

During the Coronavirus pandemic much has been said abot care workers in relation to care homes, but social care extends to more than care homes, for there is home care, supported living, respite, hospices, etc and all are affected.

This Governments as was the case with previous Governments. appear to be incapable to understand the problem or is it they do not wish to.

To have social care and health care separate is a recipe for disaster as we can all see, therefore all care needs to be under the same organisation and a means of funding needs to be found.

But what we do not need is for social care to be treated as a ‘political football’, to be kicked away when the Government wishes, as Governments have done to many areas that it finances to some degree over the years, the Health Service being just one, but there are many others.

Social Care is seriously in crisis and that is why I created the petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care, https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care

More information, which contains much of the above can be found at https://www.dropbox.com/s/v8h8caytwwh3beq/Solve%20the%20crisis%20in%20Social%20Care%20%208.docx?dl=0

I do not trust this Government, in fact any Government, but especially this one so Social Care needs YOU, please show your support for Social Care by signing the petition and then sharing.

#care #socialcare #crisis

Same Difference

For more than half a century, Barbara MacArthur, one of the first female police officers in south Wales, has worked countless, long, unpaid hours as a carer.

In the 1960s she began looking after her ailing parents in her small terraced house in Cardiff and now, aged 93 and frail herself, she continues to care for her 66-year-old disabled son, Howard. The pair live on the cramped ground floor of the house because neither can make it up the stairs.

MacArthur has always approached her caring duties with stoicism and good humour – until this week. The coronavirus crisis prompted her to write a heartbreaking letter to the Guardian in which she spelled out her fight for survival, argued that the care system was broken and said she wished she had the time to feel lonely.

Speaking on the doorstep of her home on Thursday, with Howard occasionally putting…

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Coronavirus: Helping Those With Autism During Lockdown

Routine is important for all of us, but for persons with autism it is even more so as routine is part of their coping process.

So, the closure of restaurants will have a major impact on someone with autism.

For staff to be able to handle these situations just shows what skills these staff have and these skills will go un-noticed on many occasions. These are the same staff who are classed as unskilled, which they clearly are not. But their remunerations do not take these skills into account and many may be on the National Living Wage, the minimum people over 25 have to be paid. They should be on a starting salary of the Real Living Wage, as put forward by the Living Wage Foundation, https://www.livingwage.org.uk/what-real-living-wage

However, when this was raised with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock by SNP Shadow Health Secretary Dr Philippa Whitford MP when she urged Matt Hancock to roll-out the Real Living Wage to all care workers – like has been the case in Scotland for many years – and reverse the 20% cut to public health funding imposed by the Tories in 2015.

In his response, Matt Hancock said that health care workers already receive the living wage – lower than the Real Living Wage – and completely failed to address Dr Whitford’s point on reversing cuts.

This proves where the Government really is and it is not with Care Workers in the Care Profession. For Matt Hancock was stating that Care Workers were on the National Living wage and not the Real Living Wage, but was playing on the words ‘Living Wage’ just to confuse the issue, in reality a difference of some 58p per hour and that is assuming the care workers are 25 or over, if they are 21 and over their guaranteed rate is only £8.20 and if the are under 21 the rate will be even lower. Also only the Real Living Wage has a weighting for London, who are recommended to receive £10.75 as opposed to £9.30 for the rest of the UK.

So, do not trust what you hear from the Government, especially Government Ministers.

I do not trust this Government, but then I do not trust any Governments and have not done so, for at least the last 40 or so years.

It was because of this lack of trust that I created the petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care’, which is addressed to both Matt Hancock and the Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

So, please see the information I have prepared on https://www.dropbox.com/s/74ckd926thbrlo8/Solve%20the%20crisis%20in%20Social%20Care%205.docx?dl=0
or go straight to the petition on https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care

Social Care really is in crisis and was long before COVID 19 so, Social Care really needs YOU and so does this petition

Same Difference

Like so many people with autism, lockdown rules have only added to the challenges Matthew Russell faces.

A trip to McDonald’s or the local pub had not only become a treat, but a key part of a settled weekly routine.

However, the coronavirus outbreak has taken away those routines, causing distress and anxiety for many.

So staff at an autism centre in south Wales have come up with ideas to help maintain structure, including a replica drive-through burger restaurant.

Support workers at Glamorgan House in Neath were eager to help those with autism get through the restrictions.

With the help of a local McDonald’s restaurant that was closed during the lockdown, staff sourced packaging and cups for an authentic experience as well as making their own uniforms by hand.

“As soon as we began serving up meals there were smiling faces all around and orders were flying in,” said senior…

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DWP Starts Search For PIP Claimants Entitled To More

This is good news for once and I would suggest that you be proactive and do not reply on the DWP to contact you.

We are all aware, especially taking into all the publicity given with regards to benefit assessments that you have to look after number one. If you feel there is the slightest possibility that you could be eligible for a benefit increase contact you local government DWP office. Alternatively, access a support group in your area. If you are unsure where these are this information could be available from your local authority, GP Surgery, other health areas and many others. If you have internet access then conduct an internet search, as it could well be in your interests to do so.


THE SURVIVAL OF SCORES OF CARE PROVIDERS IS AT RISK Royal Mencap Society, one of the country’s leading learning disability charities, has today (19 July) made known that essential care for some of the country’s most vulnerable people – those with serious learning disabilities – is threatened because of a Government failure to grasp the nettle on a critical funding issue. Many of the organisations providing this support are charities, whose very survival is now at risk. Derek Lewis, Chairman of Royal Mencap Society, indicated that a volte-face in Government guidance on National Minimum Wage (NMW)1 payments payable to care staff who sleep at the workplace, together with the precipitate action of HMRC, demanding 6 years back pay, has brought the sector to the brink of disaster. One capable of creating Southern Cross type failures on a multiple scale right across the country. With high politics and Brexit taking centre-stage all attempts to get top levels of Government to take the issue


Autistic boy left on locked ward for six months in ‘breach of human rights’ | Health | News | London Evening Standard

TV presenter Tanya Byron is among thousands of people supporting a family’s fight to secure the right care for their autistic teenage son. The psychologist, below, said the case of 15-year-old Matthew Garnett was a “breach of human rights”. Matthew has spent six months on a locked psychiatric ward because of a lack of specialist support elsewhere. More than 20,000 people have signed a petition launched by his parents Robin and Isabelle.

Source: Autistic boy left on locked ward for six months in ‘breach of human rights’ | Health | News | London Evening Standard

Vox Political: Report Recommends Commissioner to Protect People with Learning Difficulties

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

This is another fascinating piece from Vox Political. According to the Grauniad, Stephen Bubb, the author of a report on abuse of people with learning difficulties at a care home near Bristol, has recommended that a special commissioner should be appointed to protect them. See: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/02/23/appoint-individual-to-protect-rights-of-the-vulnerable-report-suggests/

It’s an interesting idea. The piece points out that there is already a children’s commissioner, following the horrific maltreatment and death of Victoria Climbie. Continuing the Classical theme from my last post about Boris Johnson, there’s a kind of precedent for all this in Ancient Greece. I can remember reading in one of the books at College that one of the Greek city states – probably Athens – had an ‘archon for women’ – effectively a ‘minister’, to investigate causes of complaint raised by them. This followed a women’s strike or strikes similar to the sex strike portrayed in Sophocles’ Lysistrata. There was…

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Preterm babies more prone to autism – Medical News Today

Nearly 30% of babies born very prematurely developed autism, compared with 1% of babies born full term, suggesting that environmental factors can influence the development of ASD.

Source: Preterm babies more prone to autism – Medical News Today

No Voice Unheard… as long as we can afford it, says minister

Original post from Disabled Go News



The government has been accused of handing itself a “get out of jail free” card by proposing improvements to health and social care for people with learning difficulties, but warning they will only be introduced if it has enough money.

The criticism came after the publication of the Department of Health’s response to No Voice Unheard, No Right Ignored, a consultation on improving standards in the wake of the Winterbourne View abuse scandal.

The consultation was launched followed disappointment at the lack of progress made to move people with learning difficulties from inpatient hospital settings to community-based homes, and was issued earlier this year under the coalition government by the Liberal Democrat care and support minister Norman Lamb.

It was aimed at making it easier for people with learning difficulties, autism and mental health conditions to escape institutional care – often in settings far from their original homes – and live independently in the community.

The social care minister Alistair Burt said this week: “We expect to see a significant change in the experience of care and in outcomes for people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health conditions between now and 2020.”

Among the government’s aims are that people will, by 2020, “expect to be supported to live independently as part of a community and in a home they have chosen” and will “know their views will be listened to and be able to challenge decisions about them and about their care”.

But the document adds: “These proposals for action are put forward in the context of, and are subject to, the government’s comprehensive spending review [which is due later this month].”

Among the proposals – most of which apply only to England – are new guidance for commissioners of health and social care services; to pilot access to a named social worker as the primary point of contact for service-users; and to improve information-sharing between agencies.

It concludes: “We appreciate there will always be a small number of people who need care and support in hospital, especially in crisis situations, but we would expect that this will be for no longer than clinically necessary, and wherever possible located closer to where the individual lives or wishes to be.”

But Andrew Lee, director of policy and campaigns at People First Self-Advocacy, said he was unhappy that the government had said it needed to do more work but could only make it happen “if there is enough money”.

He said: “It sounds like a ‘get out of jail free’ card.  It is saying thanks for your responses, but if we don’t have enough money then we won’t be doing any of this.”

He said he was also worried that there was no mention of whether disabled people and their organisations would be involved in writing the new guidance for commissioners.

Lee said: “It also talks about giving clear information about people’s rights and support to help them make their views clear.

“It again does not say how this will be done and with fewer self-advocacy groups, I cannot see how local authorities are going to ensure that people with learning difficulties get this information and are aware of their rights.”

But he said he was glad that the government was taking the need for advocacy seriously, although he said advocates would need to be properly trained in how to work with people with learning difficulties and should be linked with local disabled people’s organisations.

He added: “I also like the idea of have a named social worker. This could make sure that people do not get lost in the system, being moved from person to person.”

But Lee said he had been expecting a much stronger document, and said it had failed to “lay down the law in a strong enough way”.

He said: “We are talking about people being locked away, yet there is no talk of any consequences for people who continue to do this (local authorities or commissioners).

“If there was another case such as Winterbourne View, what consequences would there be for the local authority and the commissioners who paid for this service and didn’t check that the service was working properly, that people had access to advocates and that people were being included in the decisions about their lives?”

The government says in the document that respondents to the consultation were “clear that one of the most significant challenges to supporting people to live in the community was the lack of available community services in some areas”, while they also heard “how important advocacy is to people and about the need for this to be independent”.

More than 100 of the 219 individual responses to the consultation came from disabled people.

The latest target agreed by local authorities and NHS England is to reduce inpatient numbers from about 2,600 people to between 1,300 and 1,700, by April 2019.

Campaigners have been attempting to persuade governments to end the use of inpatient beds for people with learning difficulties since the late 1940s.

As far back as 1951, the National Council for Civil Liberties released a report describing the regime brought in by the 1913 Mental Deficiency Act – which confined hundreds of thousands of people with learning difficulties to long-stay NHS hospitals – as “one of the gravest social scandals of the twentieth century”.

News provided by John Pring at www.disabilitynewsservice.com


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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Life Begins Now – BBC Three

Original post from Disabled Go News



For most of us college life is the best of times, but for people with learning difficulties, moving on from this special period in their lives raises unique challenges.

This sensitive film spends the last few weeks of term at Derwen College in Shropshire with six students as they prepare to graduate and enter the real world.

Jon, Aled and Aled have been an inseparable gang for the past three years – united by their Downs Syndrome, but also their love of mischief and girls. Gang leader Jon has cultivated a reputation as a hard man on campus. He doesn’t want to get a proper job once he leaves college; instead he’s going to pursue the life of a gangster – ‘fighting, hot-tubs, strippers’. His two trusty companions Aled and Aled are also signed up to this hedonistic lifestyle. But as the time approaches for Jon to say goodbye to college and his best buddies, reality bites and his hard man mask begins to slip.

Daniel and Lissie also met three years ago and fell in love within just a few days of term beginning. They’re the college sweethearts, Derwen’s Posh and Becks, and are rarely seen out of each other’s company. During the final term Dan bought Lissie an engagement ring and proposed to her in front of his college friends. But they’re keeping their marriage plans a secret from their parents. Will their relationship endure living two hundred miles apart when they return to their family homes?

And then there is Steven. He’s struggled to create a close friendship at Derwen College because of his autism and challenging behaviour. Now, as he is preparing to leave, there are concerns at the college that he will struggle to integrate back into mainstream society.

Leaving college is a daunting time for anyone, but the staff at Derwen have added concerns for our students. Because of their learning difficulties they are less likely to be able to anticipate the changes that await them. The future really is a journey into the unknown.

Life Begins Now airs on BBC Three Tuesday 4th August at 21:00 BST 

Find out more at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02wjkjr

Roisin Norris

Hi I’m Roisin Norris, Digital Marketing Executive at DisabledGo and I will be uploading blogs and news for you all to read.

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