Disabled people are to be ‘warehoused’. We should be livid

New rules could see 13,000 people with disabilities and long-term health needs forced into care homes. This is treating people as objects to be stored

The inescapable logic of austerity is looking likely, once again, to reduce people with disabilities to objects – and in doing so to reduce their independence, options and enjoyment of life. According to the Health Service Journal, Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from campaign group Disability United found that 37 NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England were introducing rules about ongoing care that could force up to 13,000 people with health conditions into care homes. The CCGs will essentially begin saying to people with disabilities and long-term health needs: if you haven’t got the cash for homecare, then it’s off to a care home for you.

Imagine you have been living in your home for years. It might be where your kids were born. Being at home, having your stuff around you, having the greatest possible measure of independence, obviously means a lot to everyone, whether you’re well, ill or disabled. Then one day someone comes and tells you, “Nope, you’re too expensive here. We’re moving you to a care home unless you cough up the money to pay for what you need.”

This sounds innocuous to many people. Disabled people and care homes go together in the public mind as easily as “peak-time train service” and “cancellation”. The FOI requests found CCGs were setting limits on how much they were prepared to pay for supporting people in their homes compared to an “alternative option”, which is usually a care home. They were willing to pay between 10% and 40% above the care home option, which will often not be enough to keep someone in their own home.

Anita Bellows, a member of campaigning group Disabled People Against the Cuts is emphatic about what this means: “Institutionalisation is the logical conclusion of cutting the funds for maintaining people at home.”

read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/25/disabled-people-disabilities-health-care-homes

New exemptions from the bedroom tax come into law

From 1st April 2017 the rules are changing to allow an additional bedroom for disabled children or non-dependent adults who require overnight care and for couples who are unable to share a bedroom for health reasons. Previously people in these circumstances could have been subject to the bedroom tax.

The ‘bedroom tax’ means that working age people who get help towards their rent through Housing Benefit can have the amount they receive restricted if they are considered to have too many bedrooms.

Ever since the policy was proposed Carers UK have campaigned for it to be scrapped. We’ve argued that these bedrooms are not spare but needed by families providing care.

In November the Supreme Court ruled in favour of two families; Carers UK member Paul Rutherford and his wife Susan care for their profoundly disabled 14-year-old grandson, Warren, and live in a specially adapted home, which has a room for a care worker to stay when providing overnight care. This had been deemed as a spare bedroom and, as a result, their housing benefit had been reduced.

The Court also ruled in favour of Jacqueline and Jayson Carmichael, who are unable to share a bedroom due to Jacqueline’s severe disability.

To reflect the Court’s ruling the Government has changed the law to create further exemptions for carers from the Bedroom Tax. This means that from the 1st of April:

  • A couple that could not share a room because of a disability – could now have an additional room. This is already allowed for disabled children that cannot share a bedroom with another child.
  • A child that is disabled – may need overnight care from someone other than the parent/s and may need an additional bedroom can have one.  This was previously allowed for a disabled adult, but not for children.

Although we are delighted that the law is being changed we are concerned about the way the change is being communicated to local authority staff in charge of Housing Benefit as the guidance given to them appears to attempt to  limit the kinds of health conditions that could result in an extra room.

Read more here: http://www.carersuk.org/news-and-campaigns/news/new-exemptions-from-the-bedroom-tax-come-into-law

Social care system ‘beginning to collapse’ as 900 carers quit every day

More than 900 adult social care workers a day quit their job in England last year, new figures reveal. Care providers warn that growing staff shortages mean vulnerable people are receiving poorer levels of care.

In a letter to the prime minister, the chair of the UK Homecare Association says the adult social care system has begun to collapse. The government says an extra £2bn is being invested in social care. An ageing population means demand is increasing for adult social care services.

“You just can’t provide a consistent level of care if you have to keep recruiting new people”, said Sue Gregory, who has been a care home nurse in North Yorkshire for 13 years.

“Its very simple, not many people want to do this kind of work, and this is a profession that relies on you getting to know the people you are looking after.”

Data gathered by the charity Skills for Care, shows that in 2015-16 there were more than 1.3 million people employed in the adult social care sector in England.

Analysing the data, BBC News has found that:

  • An estimated 338,520 adult social care workers left their roles in 2015-16. That is equivalent to 928 people leaving their job every day.
  • 60% of those leaving a job left working in the adult social care sector altogether
  • The average full-time frontline care worker earned £7.69 an hour, or £14,800 a year.
  • One in every four social care workers was employed on a zero hours contract.
  • There was an estimated shortage of 84,320 care workers, meaning around one in every 20 care roles remained vacant.

Those who provide care to people directly in their own homes, or in nursing homes, say a growing shortage of staff means people face receiving deteriorating levels of care.

 

read more here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-39507859

The PIP Process Is Affecting Parent Carers Too

We’ve just spotted this post on Facebook. It was written by a parent carer who we’re keeping anonymous, so we are deliberately not linking back to the original post. This is how the PIP assessment process is affecting parent carers, as well as claimants. actually been feeling suicidal today(wishing me and my two autistic […]

via The PIP Process Is Affecting Parent Carers Too — Same Difference

1.2 million UK people aged 65 and over do not receive the care and support they need

Age UK report calls for urgent action, including cash injection in spring budget and development of long-term plan The government has urged people to care for their ageing parents, to compensate for any social care inefficiencies. Photograph: Tomas Rodriguez/Getty Images/Picture Press RM Social care in England is at risk of imminent collapse in the worst […]

via English social care system for elderly facing ‘complete collapse’ : Guardian. — DWPExamination.

Cuts to support killed my neighbours,’ MPs are told

DNS

By John Pring Disability News Service 26th January 2017

A disabled campaigner has told MPs that he believes cuts to support have contributed to a quarter of his neighbours in the sheltered housing development where he lives dying in just one year.

Larry Gardiner told the communities and local government select committee this week, as part of its inquiry into adult social care, that five of his neighbours had died in the last year.

He said that to lose so many neighbours in such a short period of time was “absolutely unprecedented”.

He said: “Some of those deaths were expected and anticipated… but there were others which I think were premature, unexpected and for which there should be an investigation, and there hasn’t been.”

read more here: http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2017/01/26/cuts-to-support-killed-my-neighbours-mps-are-told/

Sick and disabled forced ‘to pay for OWN care assessments’ by shameless Tory council

Furious Labour MPs and campaign groups hit out at plans by Tory-run Northamptonshire County Council to force people need of social services to pay £50 for a needs assessment before they can access care

A shameless Tory council is poised to become the first in Britain to start charging the sick and disabled for their own care assessments.

Furious Labour MPs and campaign groups hit out at plans by Tory-run Northamptonshire County Council to force people need of social services to pay £50 for a needs assessment before they can access care.

The plan appears to flaunt clear Whitehall instructions that town halls should provide care assessments for free.

“Charging for this is wrong,” said Andrew Boaden of the Alzheimer’s Society.

“The burden of paying for care already leaves many people choosing between a hot meal or buying in help to shower and get dressed.

“Charging for an assessment is another barrier that will make this already dire situation worse.”

Local people have already launched a campaign to stop the cruel £50 charge, which will apply to anyone who owns a home worth more than £23,250.

read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/sick-disabled-forced-to-pay-9685866