Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

More cuts to come, charities fear

People with disabilities fear there will be more cuts to services ahead, a survey by the Care and Support Alliance has indicated. Nearly 1 in 4 disabled people (23%) have already experienced a cut in services – and that’s before councils will be forced to make cuts due to budget reductions in April 2011. The survey received more than 1,000 responses from people with disabilities and long-term conditions, their carers, families and older people.

The responses included: – Nearly half (43%) could not afford essentials like food and heating as a result of changes like increased care charges – More than half of respondents had seen their health suffer as a result of changes to services – 52% were struggling to maintain their independence – 48% of carers and disabled people were finding it harder to stay in employment. Local authorities are being forced to make cuts to services due to a 26% cut in their funding from central government.

A combination of these cuts and an increased demand for services has meant funding for social care can no longer keep up with demand, the Alliance has warned.

In a joint statement, the 40 charities that make up the Care and Support Alliance – including Mencap, Scope and the MS Society – said: “The outlook for our society looks bleak for many families unless the Government and the Commission for Funding Social Care take bold steps to ensure that we have a sustainable funding system for social care. “Unless solutions are found which lever significant amounts of additional funding into social care, it will not just be disabled and older people and their families who pay a heavy price, but our economy and employers who face losing large numbers of people who are forced to give up work to care.”

To see the evidence collected by the Care and Support Alliance, visit www.carersuk.org

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