The majority of councils have abandoned support for all but their most severely disabled residents, a survey has found. A series of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests made by The Independent has uncovered that while 14% of responding authorities currently provide support for disabled individuals deemed to have moderate needs, this figure is set to drop to 11% next year following further cuts to social care budgets.
The FOI requests revealed that Darlington BC is set to cut its adult social care budget by 10% in December by providing care only to those persons classed as critical. Plans have been sent out to consultation at Rochdale MBC to stop the provision of support for adults with moderate needs, while City of York Council is looking to save £390,000 a year by implementing similar restrictions on its community care services.
A separate report published by a coalition of disabled charities and organisations has claimed that disabled people and their families are on the cusp of sliding into entrenched isolation and poverty because of income reductions and benefit cuts. The Hardest Hit’s report The Tipping Point states that local authorities have removed £2bn from social care budgets despite demand for care services continuing to grow.
Cllr David Rogers, chair of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, said: ‘Local authorities are already facing a £1.89bn reduction in social care budgets and increasing demand from a rapidly ageing population. Unless this growing and immediate funding crisis is addressed things are going to get much worse.
‘All too soon we are going to be faced with a funding crisis that we are no longer going to be able to tackle. The challenge of reforming adult social care is set to fall off a cliff edge and politicians need to act now or risk severely impacting on the services councils can provide for generations to come,’ Cllr Rogers added.
Responding to the publication from The Hardest Hit, chief executive of Mind, Paul Farmer said: ‘This report clearly demonstrates both that the current system is not working fairly and effectively, and that changes that are due to come in soon are likely to make things even worse for disabled people.’ Link to The Tipping Point report: Link to The Hardest Hit: http://thehardesthit.wordpress.com/
22nd October 2012