You may have seen the Panorama programmes about the shocking crisis in social care. If not, please see links to iPlayer at the end of this post.

Below is a motion that I’ll present at my local Labour Party branch meeting on 9 July next week.

The motion has been agreed by the Reclaim Social Care Group (RSCG) with the aim of getting it discussed and accepted as union policy at Labour Party Conference this year.  Although I’m not ‘registered’ disabled, I’m a member of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC).

The RSCG is co-ordinated through the umbrella group, Health Campaigns Together (HCT). It includes representation from Socialist Health Association (SHA), and KONP (Keep Our NHS Public).  Also included in RSCG are the National Pensioners’ Convention (NPC), several unions including Unite and Unison branches, and a wide range of disabled people’s user-led groups, and writers and academics.

Motion: Reclaim Social Care

England’s social care system is broken. Local Authorities face £700m cuts in 2018-19. With £7 billion slashed since 2010, 26% fewer older people receive support, while demand grows.

Most care is privatised, doesn’t reflect users’ needs and wishes; charges are high. Consequences include isolation, indignity, maltreatment. Disabled and elderly people face barriers to inclusion and independent living, thousands feel neglected.

8 million unpaid, overworked family carers, including children and elderly relatives, provide vital support.

Public money goes to shareholders and hedge funds as profits. Service users and families face instability as companies go bust.

Staff wages, training and conditions are slashed. Staff turnover over 30%.

This branch demands Labour legislates a duty on the SoS to provide a universal social care and support system based on a universal right to independent living: 

 

  • Free at point of use

 

  • Fully funded through progressive taxation

 

  • Subject to national standards based on article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities addressing people’s aspirations and choices and with robust safeguarding procedures.

 

  • Publicly, democratically run services, designed and delivered locally, co-productively involving local authorities, the NHS and service users, disabled people and carers

 

  • Nationally agreed training, qualifications, career structure, pay and conditions.

 

  • Giving informal carers the rights and support they need.

 

Labour to establish a taskforce involving user and carers organisations, trade unions, pensioners and disabled people’s organisations to develop proposals for a national independent living support service, free to all on the basis of need.

 

(250 words)

Notes for members

SoS – Secretary of state

Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA).

This is an alliance of Disabled People and their organisations in England who have joined together to defend disabled people’s rights and campaign for an inclusive society. ROFA fights for equality for disabled people in England and works with sister organisations across the UK in the tradition of the international disability movement. We base our work on the social model of disability, human and civil rights in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

We oppose the discriminatory and disproportionate attacks on our rights by past and current Governments. Alliance member organisations have been at the forefront of campaigning against austerity and welfare reform and inequality.

National independent living service

The social care element of Disabled people’s right to independent living will be administered through a new national independent living service managed by central government, but delivered locally in co-production with Disabled people. It will be provided on the basis of need, not profit, and will not be means tested. It will be independent of, but sit alongside, the NHS and will be funded from direct taxation.

The national independent living service will be responsible for supporting disabled people through the self-assessment/assessment process, reviews and administering payments to individual Disabled people. Individuals will not be obliged to manage their support payments themselves if they choose not to.

The national independent living service will be located in a cross-government body which can ensure awareness of and take responsibility for implementation plans in all areas covered by the UNCRPD’s General Comment on Article 19 and by the twelve pillars of independent living, whether it be in transport, education, employment, housing, or social security. The cross-government body will also be responsible for ensuring that intersectional issues are adequately addressed.

BBC Panorama – Social care 

Part 1:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0005jpf/panorama-crisis-in-care-part-1-who-cares

Part 2 – https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0005qqr/panorama-crisis-in-care-part-2-who-pays

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8 Comments

  1. M says:

    I think that something really, really needs to be done to help people with disabilities and their carers from being picked upon by the DWP and certain medical professions and political people whom are prejudice and uneducated in this area, else this country and it’s people are no better then a Nazi state.
    I am a mother to son aged nearly 56 years old whom is mentally handicapped/autistic whom also has other ill-health and physical/mobility
    difficulties that are not actually seen straight away and unless one understands how autism can affect not being mobile can mean for such
    people then they should not be in positions to give a verdict of what constitutes being mobile. and that which is not.
    As being unable to move on easily and readily is not just reserved for those
    with physical disabilities but also made worse when suffering with both that and difficulties with memory to aid same and for those whom suffer with fits and anxiety induced type fits and aggression dependent on so much more and neurological illnesses apart from having arthritis and raynaud’s disease and scoliosis, and asthma,
    Having no ability to recognize having an intellectual disability or to find words to express/convey pain but observations of person and ability
    of knowing them is beneficial for the sufferer and needs carers whom
    are dedicated to delivering good care that comes from a national state system that does actually care and not just want them taken out because in certain peoples mind that those not meeting a certain ‘grade’ do not
    qualify for life it’s self.
    Recent times, I have found myself put in the position of defending my son’s
    loss of Welfare benefits from the DWP and am also told that almost several thousands have to be paid back owing to being out of time in returning
    reply owing to lack of help from the GP and lack of promised help from Wokingham Health Watch at that crucial time.

    I have to prove to the DWP if my son is still affected by his condition,
    I had only a month to do this in and yet to gain the help of his GP
    would mean trying to get medical appointment with him earlier then the standard wait of 3 weeks and then putting pressure on GP got the whole family kicked off of his practice
    under the false claim made by the then said GP, written letter received that stated the Wokiingham
    *Clinical Commissioning Group – *(CCG) had informed him that they would no longer fund for us being on his practice because we were out of area that general practices don’t any longer receive funding for out of area patients and
    that would mean his practice would not get their funding and upon I and my husband attending
    a Health Watch public meeting which included speakers from the CCG
    (the Chairman) and from Wokingham Adult Social Services (Director)
    where in attendance,. On day of meeting I and my husband were put under pressure from the Health Watch team to not raise the question of ‘Why did the Clinical Commissioning Group
    decided to do this when it would affect greatly our son whom being on the autistic spectrum with a sever mental handicap whom cannot cope/manage
    change and greatly put pressure on those whom care for him, his mother
    aged 72 and father aged 77 whom has Parkinson’s/brittle diabetes also
    brain aneurysm and dementia and could the Clinical Commissioning Group
    show where they had made a reasonable adjustment in considering our sons disabling condition of autism and mental handicap and for those caring for him in there demand for relocating to another medical practice..
    The chairman of the Clinical Commissioning Group stated that this was not the case, that the Clinical Commissioning Group had not made or taken this action but it was that the general practitioner did not want us on his practice.
    So by discrimination by a medical profession it has caused my son to loose
    his benefit and to cause my family a great deal of hardship in worry and in
    dealing with the DWP.
    As for looking for help from Health Watch, that I had initially been promised with
    I have tried several times phoning by contacting their central phone centre and they have not responded.
    We have also learned that the Clinical Commissioning Group do not take minutes of their meetings and it has been claimed that the evening of this public meeting there was no questions from the public, when in reality there
    was that many, that Health Watch were concerned that they would go over their meeting time.

    As for looking for help from our Member of Parliament , we feel that as his
    party was those whom helped greatly to introduce newer rules for disability benefits he will not put his party under pressure by taking our case up.

    1. Roy Trevelion says:

      Dear M,

      I hope you don’t mind but I’ve taken out your full name and replaced it with just the first initial. This is because you’ve given a lot of personal information.

      First, I’m so very sorry to hear this. It sounds really tough, and for a long time too.

      But, please can you reply to my comment with the name of your MP. Please also include names and/or email addresses for your Healthwatch, the Chair of your CCG, the Director of Wokingham Adult Services.

      Please post them here, I’ll make sure they all get to see your comment.

      1. M says:

        Hi I have tried to send the details you have asked for so many times that every time I have about to send they disappear from here.
        Please email me your email address so this can be achieved,
        thanking you. Maureen

        1. Roy Trevelion says:

          Hi Maureen,

          Thanks. I’ll find out what to do and I’ll be in touch.

  2. Merryl Wahogo says:

    M’s story is quite frankly horrific. I wish I could say it is unrepresentative of what happens to the parents of autistic adults, but I can’t. It is very much the extreme end of the cruelty inflicted on disabled people and their families by this Government.

    1. M says:

      Merryl Wahogo.

      Thank you so much for speaking out, you are very right and it is a hard and difficult life made a great deal more harder and difficult when the people in government and health & social positions both national and local do not do their duty by hearing from carers and learn of the needs of those that they care for whom are unable to speak up for them selves, and take on board what the needs of the most vulnerable are and those responsible for laying out the foundations for entitlement to welfare benefits and health & social care (reform) need to actually learn how to deliver without discriminating
      and without cruelty and with out causing the health to decline for those
      whom appear to be without a disability, such as those on the autistic spectrum.

      In the recent past I have contacted my MP and Borough Councillors
      but have no response.

  3. B says:

    A comprehensive Publicly funded social care system is too expensive within the political realities of today and pushing in this direction would only be exploited by richer people looking to save their legacies for their children.
    We need to tread carefully rather than appear as gung-ho.
    Yes services for elderly people and the disabled needs to improve but extending cover to poor disabled is a higher priority than rich elderly.

  4. M says:

    What is already there does not work well for the poor ill and disabled when the people working in the services are firstly discriminating towards them
    knowing it is in their own best interest to obey their paymasters and deliver as least as possible and help to keep their own jobs, not risking confrontation as to what is actually best for those with special needs and
    taking care most often means taking time and time costs, so it does not deliver.

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