Thursday, 27 January 2011

Cuts in services for the disabled

Attended a Mencap Big Cuts event today. Received loads of useful advice about fighting the cuts. Met other parents, who, like me, are frightened of what the future holds for their disabled children. What's happening already is bad enough - cuts in Mobility component of DLA & Disability Law Service, respite centres being closed down etc. Government plans to make personal budgets compulsory for people with disabilities are the most scary. Disabled people will be allocated a budget based on their support needs then, if they have the capacity, make their own decisions on how it's spent. In many cases the task will be vested to families or, if they have no family able to do it, outsourced to 'brokers.' Essentially, the government would privatise learning disability services like they did pensions - & look what happened there!! Although many charities, including Mencap, support the principles behind personalisation - giving people choice & control - there is concern that personal budgets would be inadequate & used as a 'stealth cut' to reduce the amount of social care provision made. Navigating the system will be be more daunting in some cases than others - hitting the most vulnerable or those with additional complex health needs. Not a prospect I'm looking forward to :(

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