Call on government to take urgent action on the question of independent living and social care funding for Disabled people

Prime Minister Theresa May has promised a consultation on funding for social care later this year. Take action to call on government to ensure that the consultation will address the need to uphold the right to independent living and the needs of Disabled adults as well as the elderly. Lobby parliament and write to your MP!

Social care was one of the defining issues of the general election but the vast majority of coverage concentrated on funding for elderly care as opposed to independent living for Disabled people. However, this year for the first time, the needs of Disabled young people and people with mental health support needs have been identified as placing the greatest pressures on social care budgets over and above those of older people*. With further cuts planned of £824 million in 2017/18, the cumulative “savings” made to adult social care budgets since 2010 is set to reach £6.3 billion.

The funding crisis in social care is having a very real and detrimental impact on Disabled people’s ability to live and take part in the community and the gap between the life chances of Disabled and non-disabled people is widening. The most basic choices such as when to get up, go to bed or use the toilet, when and what to eat, and the choice to leave the house are no longer in the hands of Disabled people but subject to Local Authority budget allocations which are becoming ever more restricted.

Leading figures in the disability rights movement have recently warned that the concept of personal assistance has been severely damaged by years of budget savings and policies that have “degraded” the support mechanisms designed to enable independent living.**

On an individual level this is devastating for Disabled people, locked away whether in their own homes, supported living or residential care. On a societal level this is a regression of the right to independent living and a return to a segregated society where Disabled people are separated from their communities and invisible to the wider public behind closed doors.

Disabled people and our allies are calling on government to ensure that the consultation on funding for social care promised by Prime Minister Theresa May for later this year will address the urgent issues of:

  • upholding Disabled people’s right to independent living,
  • protecting our life chances and the futures of Disabled younger people
  • ensuring that Disabled people are not put at risk by fragile or lacking infrastructure to support personal assistance management
  • enabling Local Authorities to fulfil their obligations under the Care Act 2014 including implementation of the well-being duty according to the principles set out in Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (see paragraph 1.19 of the Care Act statutory guidance)

With assisted suicide back in the law courts this week, please join us to call on politicians to assist us to live not to die.

How to get involved:

  • Join us in Parliament on Wednesday to lobby our MPs (meet outside 11am) – more information on the DPAC website
  • Write to your MP – you can download our template letter here – please remember to insert your own personal experiences of the cuts in social care as this makes it far more likely that your MP will give it attention
  • Watch this space for when Parliament returns from its summer recess in September


*2017 annual budget survey from ADASS (Association of Directors of Social Services)