All I want for Christmas is a solution for social care

Another year ends without a long-term sustainable funding solution for social care. Last week, Minister for Care, Caroline Dinenage, quietly confirmed that the Social Care Green Paper will be delayed until January 2019.

I’m deeply disappointed, yet sadly not surprised, that the Social Care Green Paper has not arrived in time for Christmas. It is one of many crucial reforms side lined by the Brexit chaos, along with the NHS Long Term plan.

For over a year the government has repeated it’s tired old mantra, that the green paper is ‘coming soon’. A government that really wants to solve the social care crisis finds a way; those that don’t, find excuses.

Further excuses and delays will mean disabled people don’t receive good quality care or are unable to access the care they need. It leaves more and more disabled people at crisis point and increasingly reliant on NHS services which are already under pressure.

At this point in time, the crumbling social care sector has neither a long-term or short-term funding solution. The Autumn Budget delivered nothing but a £650 million temporary sticking plaster, only a quarter of the money needed to solve the social care crisis. Meanwhile, many disabled people have been left struggling due to the lack of urgency the government has shown this issue.

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Now everyone feels entitled to a priority seat

In an ideal world, everyone could use public transport. As a deafblind person, I really welcome the Government initiative to make this a reality.

Raised kerbs, low steps and staff understanding the needs of passengers is essential. But over the years I’ve noticed an increasing number of people being rude. Accessibility depends as much on people’s attitudes, and they really need to change for a truly accessible transport system to be a reality.

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The voluntary sector can’t tackle loneliness in isolation from one another


Two men in conversation outside
CEO Richard Kramer discusses how Sense services can tackle loneliness

Loneliness is a serious public issue deserving of public funds and national attention. It’s well publicised that the issue disproportionately affects older people, with half a million older people in this country going 5 or 6 days a week without speaking to anyone at all.

What is less well known, is its affect on disabled people who may never have the opportunity to establish friendships in the first place. Continue reading “The voluntary sector can’t tackle loneliness in isolation from one another”

I’m fighting for the future of my disabled daughter’s care

A smiling girl in an accessible buggy with a smiling woman and a smiling boy and girl who are wearing cycling helmets

When I first took my disabled daughter to Nascot Lawn Respite Centre – the only NHS overnight and daycare centre in Hertfordshire – I never imagined it would become one of the most important places in our lives. So when the service was threatened by closure last year, I didn’t hesitate to lead the legal challenge to reverse the decision.

Beating the odds and winning two judicial reviews meant the parents from Nascot Lawn raised the importance of short breaks and social care funding for all disabled children to a national level. But now, with only three staff members left, the gem of Hertfordshire is on the brink of extinction and my daughter’s future uncertain.

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Loneliness can be a huge challenge when you’re a disabled young person transitioning to adulthood

A woman with her guide dog stands on the terraces at the house of lords, parliament

My name’s Ellen Watson. I’m 22 years old. I’m a student at the University of Sheffield. I recently attended parliament where I spoke about loneliness and disability. I shared my experience of being deaf and losing my sight, and the effect it has on young disabled people transitioning from childhood to adulthood.

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Who will care for my disabled son when I’m gone?

A woman sits with her son at the kitchen table. They're smiling. She rubs his head.

The decision to explore the provision of long term care for your loved one is not an easy one.

We had always said we’d look after our son Alex for as long as we could, and as long as there were support systems in place. But with dwindling resources in respite care, it’s becoming harder to plan for the future. Continue reading “Who will care for my disabled son when I’m gone?”

Why I’m supporting the When I’m Gone campaign

Jo Platt MP
Jo Platt MP

Many disabled people rely on the support of their families. Family members play a key role in their care and often become experts. However, there is much concern over what happens as those family carers get older. What happens when family carers are no longer able to support their loved ones?

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How can we solve the housing crisis for disabled people?

A woman leans on a table next to a young man

Today sees the publication of a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), following their inquiry into the availability of housing for disabled people. It highlights a ‘housing crisis’ caused by the lack of accessible and affordable homes, delays in installing home adaptations, and a general lack of support to enable disabled people to live independently.

The impacts of this can be wide ranging and affect independence, employment, relationships, health and social care needs, and more. Many of the findings in this report echo the experiences of families we spoke to as part of the research by Sense for our When I’m Gone campaign.

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New minister, new opportunities

Two smiling women

There was a new appointment in Government last week, an important one for disabled people with complex needs.

James Brokenshire became the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. We’re calling on him to ensure disabled people with complex needs have appropriate and timely arrangements for their future care in place, and to help provide the peace of mind that families need.

Describing himself as having “local government… in the blood”, Mr Brokenshire said he looked forward to working with councils to deliver quality public services and build strong integrated communities.

This Department is an important one for Sense as it has responsibility over local government, including reform, finances and adult social care.
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The looming crisis facing disabled people and their families

The back of two women talking on the edge of a bed

“It’s very stressful. I find myself hoping she passes away before me. No parent should feel like this.” These words were spoken by Mark, who cares for his disabled daughter, who has complex needs. Mark lives with the fear and worry that his daughter’s care and support needs are so complex, and that his local social services are under such pressures, that should he not be able to support his daughter, then no one would.

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