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Bill to end postcode lottery for disabled people
A Bill to secure continuity of care and support for disabled people who relocate to another local authority is introduced today in the House of Lords.
Baroness Campbell’s Private Members’ ‘Social Care Portability Bill’ places duties on local authorities to work together to ensure that when disabled people move, they have equivalent care and support in place on arrival.
At present, every time a disabled person moves from one local authority to another, they have to negotiate a new care and support package. And with no guarantee that the same level of support will be available in the new location, this causes unnecessary hardship and delay.
Breach of human rights
National pan-disability organisation, Disability Rights UK, considers this to be a significant breach of basic human rights, depriving people of choice and control over their lives, denying them job and education opportunities or the chance to live closer to family or friends.
Ending the postcode lottery
Liz Sayce OBE, Chief Executive of Disability Rights UK, said:“1.6 million disabled people and their families should not have to suffer the misery of the bureaucracy and postcode lottery if they wish to move. We have heard from people who have had their support cut by half or who have been told that they cannot employ a personal assistant but should go in a residential home instead.
“Quite often someone will have a very good reason to move, be it for employment or education, or to live nearer family and friends. They should not be a victim of the often arbitrary process of obtaining a new care package that enables them to lead a full live. Employers will not keep a job open indefinitely nor won’t colleges delay the start of the academic year while a disabled person battles out their care package with the council. This is a huge waste of potential.
“Social care is in crisis and we urgently need a simpler legal framework and sustainable funding. Baroness Campbell’s Bill provides a practical solution that should form part of a wider package of social care reform. We call on the Government to support Baroness Campbell’s Bill and to give disabled people greater security of support when they move.”
Graham Faulkner, Chief Executive of Epilepsy Society said: “The root cause is the definition of someone’s place of ordinary residence – the means by which local authorities and Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) determine which authority has responsibility for financing care services for people living in their area. I support any move which allows funds to follow an individual so that they can choose where and how they want to live which ultimately must result in a better quality of life.”