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
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/
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/
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 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=/