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.”

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

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Government report confirms fears over impact of Independent Living Fund closure

Former recipients of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) in England experienced a loss of support, a greater reliance on unpaid care and an “adverse” impact on their physical and mental health after its closure, according to a government report.

The research, published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), confirms many of the warnings and concerns raised by disabled activists who campaigned against the decision to close the fund, before it shut in June 2015

read more here: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/dwp-report-confirms-fears-over-impact-of-ilf-closure/

Care crisis: Council’s failings mean disabled man has to be dragged upstairs to his flat

This is exactly what we predicted would happen when the Government decided to close the Independent Living Fund and devolve responsibility for the most severely disabled to local councils.

John Pring at Disability News Service writes:

A disabled man has to be dragged up the stairs to his second-floor flat by his personal assistant because of his local council’s failure to rehouse him in safe, accessible accommodation.

Robert Carver – who is paraplegic – has also been told by his GP, nurse, occupational therapist and psychologist that he needs 24-hour-a-day care, but his council has given him just 28 hours a week.

read more here: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/care-crisis-councils-failings-mean-disabled-man-has-to-be-dragged-upstairs-to-his-flat/

Council wants to watch abuse survivor shower and toilet to check post-Independent Living Fund needs

A disabled woman has told how her local council is threatening to spend several days watching her every move as she eats, showers and uses the toilet, in order to check if planned cuts to her care package will meet her needs.

The woman, Jane*, a survivor of serious sexual, physical and emotional abuse, and a former Independent Living Fund (ILF) recipient, spoke about the council’s “violation” at a parliamentary campaign meeting this week

read more here: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/council-wants-to-watch-abuse-survivor-shower-and-toilet-to-check-post-ilf-needs/

The Abuse Disabled People Face from Social Services & Funding Cuts Since ILF Closure

The government has closed the Independent Living Fund (ILF) and devolved the money to local authorities.

The ILF was a fund designed to help the care needs of the most profoundly disabled citizens of the UK. It was administered at national level through parliament, and was paid out to 18,000 people.

The money devolved to local authorities has not been ring fenced to ensure it is used to support the severely disabled people who were completely reliant on the ILF for their daily needs and independence. Council income has been slashed by the government. Many cash strapped councils have chosen to cut the aid packages for ex-ILF recipients, using the money for urgent purposes elsewhere. This is resulting in huge suffering by those who had previously been in receipt of 24 hour care.

Here’s an account by one of them, published on the Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) website.

“My beloved friends, most of you know that I have been battling my local council NOT to cut the essential care support I need to maintain my independence & social inclusion. Their drastic cuts will leave me virtually housebound: with just enough care to get me up in the morning & be put to bed at night & have a quick meal at midday and one short toilet break a day, as well as just enough care to go out once a week and 25 minutes a day for help with dish washing, household cleaning, laundry, shopping, etc., and absolutely none for help with showering & other personal care or for food prep & cooking, or anything else. They suggest I purchase ready made, microwavable meals via the internet instead – something I simply cannot afford and even if I could, due to my complex disabilities it would not meet my nutritional needs and would result in my condition deteriorating rapidly, as being made housebound would too”

read more here: http://dpac.uk.net/2016/09/the-abuse-disabled-people-face-from-social-services-and-cuts-to-funding-since-closure-of-ilf/#st_refDomain=www.facebook.com&st_refQuery=/

Cameron’s stealth cut to disability benefits is obscene – says the Telegraph

Axing the Independent Living Fund without a plausible alternative will hurt vulnerable people while saving very little money

“The test of a good society,” David Cameron said before the 2010 general election, was whether “you look after the frail, the vulnerable, the poorest”.

That test, he admitted, “is even more difficult in difficult times, when difficult decisions have to be taken.”

We are certainly living in difficult times, with plenty of difficult decisions to be made about Government spending. But while many of the welfare reforms have been popular with voters on all sides of the political divide, there is now a big question whether the latest decision passes the Prime Minister’s own personal “test of a good society”.

Today sees the end of the Independent Living Fund, a little-known benefit that affects only 18,000 people across the nation and costs taxpayers £320m a year.

The fund, started 30 years ago, makes payments of, typically, £450 to £500 a week to people with severe disabilities to enable them to live more independent lives. It funds the cost of carers and personal assistants to provide daily help with their everyday needs, even allowing some recipients to go out to work.

Yet, in these “difficult times”, the ILF will cease to exist at midnight tonight. Disability campaigners, who have fought hard against its end, say this will be catastrophic for some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Their worries have been brushed aside by the Government as “scaremongering”. This is, Ministers insist, a mere administrative change that won’t leave anyone out of pocket. From tomorrow all the funds will simply be transferred to local councils for them to manage.

So why is this such a test of Mr Cameron’s good society? The answer is, as always, in the small print.

Yes, the fund’s cash is being transferred to local councils from tonight but, with just hours to go, those councils have not yet been told exactly how much money they will each get.

In addition to that, the money – which will come from the Department for Communities and Local Government rather than the Department for Work and Pensions – will not be legally ringfenced for the severely disabled. Indeed, only one third of councils have so far committed to spending the money as intended rather than simply adding the cash to their general budget.

And, given that the social care for the elderly provided by many cash-strapped councils is already scandalously poor, with carers able to spend only minutes with frail and vulnerable pensioners, we can hardly hold out much hope that the care given to the severely disabled will meet anything but their most basic needs.

Finally, to add insult to injury, the central Government funding is guaranteed for only another nine months. After that, who knows? The disabled recipients and their carers will have to wait for the next spending review to find out what their future holds.

read the rest of this story here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/general-election-2015/politics-blog/11707492/Camerons-stealth-cut-to-disability-benefits-is-obscene.html