More than half of people 58 per cent who receive

first_imgMore than half of people (58 per cent) who receive care and support services in England have seen their quality of life fall in the last year, according to a new survey by a disabled-led expert group.A similar survey carried out last year found 45 per cent said their quality of life had fallen over the previous year.The survey has been carried out by the Independent Living Strategy Group (ILSG) – chaired by the disabled crossbench peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell – and published by the charity in Control, and focuses on the impact of cuts to social care on people’s independence and basic human rights.Baroness Campbell (pictured) said the survey proves that increased social care funding is needed to prevent disabled people from an “extreme risk” of harm and help develop a “radically” new system that “positively” supports independence and well-being.The survey has been published in the run-up to the chancellor’s autumn statement later this month.A quarter of those questioned said they had been told by their local authority in the last 12 months that their support packages would be reduced because of cuts or savings*.Baroness Campbell told Disability News Service (DNS): “If we don’t properly invest in our care and support system now, deeper cuts to people’s individual support are inevitable year-on-year, as the population increases.“This lack of investment is already having expensive financial and moral consequences, as our 2016 survey reveals.”Meanwhile, the Health Foundation, The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust concluded in a new report this week that cuts and rising demand will leave adult social care facing a £1.9 billion funding gap next year.And the Local Local Government Ombudsman said in its annual report into adult social care complaints that it had seen a 25 per cent rise in complaints about home care – 65 per cent of which were upheld – as well as a six per cent increase in complaints and enquiries about all areas of adult social care (to 2,969).Baroness Campbell says in the ILSG report that the survey aimed to discover whether the Care Act 2014 – potentially the “most exciting, creative and positive move forward in the history of local authority care and support services” – was “working in practice”.But the group warned that these duties had been imposed on local authorities at a time of “unprecedented cuts to their funding”, with adult social care departments forced into budget savings of 26 per cent over four years, the equivalent of £3.53 billion.A third of respondents (33 per cent) said that their level of choice and control over their support had fallen in the previous year, compared with just under 30 per cent in last year’s survey.And almost two out of five respondents (38 per cent) said they were having to rely more on family and friends for support, while more than a quarter (27 per cent) said they were having to pay more towards the cost of their support.Of the 95 people responding to the survey who previously received money from the Independent Living Fund (ILF), more than two-fifths (41 per cent) said the amount of support they received had fallen since ILF’s closure in June 2015, while nearly a third (32 per cent) said the quality of their day-to-day support had worsened since it closed.Baroness Campbell told DNS: “Our strategy group believes that extra funding is not simply required to prevent older and disabled people from extreme risk, but urgently needed to develop a radically new system which positively supports people’s independence and well-being.“After all, this was supposed to be the central aim of the government’s Care Act, which has yet to deliver.”She said the survey showed that councils were now placing “severe restrictions” on how people can use personal budgets or direct payments.She said: “This is counter to the Care Act’s aim, which is to empower local authorities to give more choice and control over how support is delivered.“They said they have no choice due to the funding shortage.“Shockingly, half of respondents reported that support now is only available for very basic personal care – an indication that people who need support are often condemned to a very limited existence.”The report was released just four days before the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities published a report that concluded that the UK government had committed “grave or systematic violations” of disabled people’s rights, including actions that “have hindered various aspects of their right to live independently and be included in the community” under article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.Baroness Campbell said the survey demonstrated why the government had been found to be “failing miserably” in its responsibilities under article 19 of the convention.About half of ILSG are disabled people, and many represent disabled people’s organisations or user-led grassroots groups, including the Spartacus network, Shaping Our Lives, Inclusion London, Hammersmith and Fulham Coalition Against Cuts, Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People and Disability Rights UK.The survey was based on responses from 485 people who have support in England, including people who fund their own care, with the vast majority of the responses coming from service-users under the age of 65.*91 of the 363 survey respondents who answered this question said they had been told their support (or the money available for their support) would be reduced because of cuts or savingslast_img read more

Campaigners from across the country gathered outsi

first_imgCampaigners from across the country gathered outside parliament this week to call for an end to unsafe “shared space” street designs, which risk turning public spaces into “no go zones” for many disabled and older people.The protest (pictured) was organised by the National Federation of the Blind of the UK (NFBUK), and attended by members of Transport for All (TfA), and campaigners from Save Our Green Lanes, Enfield Town Residents Association and East Dunbartonshire Visually Impaired People’s Forum.They were joined by Michael Pringle, whose three-year-old son Clinton was killed after he was hit by a vehicle in a shared space scheme while on holiday in Jersey last year.Protesters later delivered a letter to the prime minister at Number 10, which calls for an end to all shared space street developments.Shared space schemes usually remove kerbs and controlled crossings, encouraging vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists to share the same space, but posing greater risks for partially-sighted and blind people, as well as other disabled people, including many of those with mobility impairments, learning difficulties or who are deaf.The NFBUK letter also calls for standard height kerbs and controlled crossings to be retained in all street schemes; an audit of all existing shared space developments, and for them to be made “accessible for all”; and for the current shared space guidance to be replaced with an “inclusive design approach”.TfA member Kasia Kubaszek, a guide dog-user from Hammersmith, west London, who attended this week’s protest, said she wanted an end to spared space developments.On one occasion, she was walking to the Albert Hall along Exhibition Road, a shared space scheme, and had to ask a stranger to walk with her because she felt so frightened.She said: “I felt terrified. I felt as though I was walking in the middle of the road, but I wasn’t.“I don’t think I would do it again unless I really, really had to. At any point, I felt as if a car could drive into me.“Even when I think about it now it makes me feel so anxious.”On another occasion, her guide dog Carrie was walking with her along High Street Kensington – another shared space scheme – and because there was no kerb she led her in front of a car, which fortunately stopped before it hit them.Karl Farrell, from Hackney, north London, who also took part in the protest, and is a member of both NFBUK and TfA, said that shared space areas produced “an unequal contest” between cars and pedestrians, particularly if the pedestrian was blind.He said: “Losing controlled crossings… these crossings are important because you know where you stand with them, you know what your position is, and you proceed to cross when you have the right of way.”But with shared space-type “courtesy crossings”, he often has no idea when to cross, because cars can be very quiet, as are cycles.He said: “In that situation, I might be stepping out into danger.”Earlier this summer, five NFBUK members hand-delivered a letter to the prime minister to ask for an independent inquiry into shared space developments “in order to regain the rights of residents to walk their town streets once again without needing to negotiate right-of-way with drivers of moving vehicles by sight, a task which is impossible for blind and vision-impaired people to carry out”.Catherine Smith, TfA’s campaigns and outreach officer, said: “We’ve heard from countless disabled and older people who are afraid to walk through shared spaces.“The government must act to stop our public spaces from becoming no go zones for disabled and older people.”Last month, the Department for Transport’s draft transport accessibility action plan – which is out for consultation – said the department was working with the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation on a review of shared space and other street design projects, which aims “to provide clarity on how such schemes should be designed and developed”.The action plan says the review should “reinforce to designers that improving inclusivity is not just one of many objectives for a scheme, but must be embedded within the process”.DfT says in the draft plan that it will “consider the need to revise guidance in the light of those recommendations”.last_img read more

LUKE Walsh will be a Saint in 2016 after he agreed

first_imgLUKE Walsh will be a Saint in 2016 after he agreed to take up his third year option with the Champions.The scrum half signed from Penrith Panthers for the 2014 First Utility Super League campaign and impressed in the early stages of the year before a broken leg curtailed his season.He has featured this year too taking his appearances in the Red Vee to 23 – scoring 181 points in the process.Currently sidelined after an operation on his ankle he is expecting to feature again in the next couple of weeks.Luke said: “It was an easy decision to make. The club and the fans have been great to me especially after the injury and it felt like the right thing to do. I now want to win things.“It has been frustrating for me since the injury; the leg break healed fine but the ankle was grumbling. That is all fixed now and I’m looking forward to getting back on the field. It has been torture really because I had a great start.“I wanted to play a lot more footy not only for me but the fans too. My motivation is to come back and repay their faith this year and next.”He continued: “The combination between me and Travis Burns is exciting and this season on the training field and in the games I played it felt like we’d never been apart. Hopefully, we both stay healthy and then we can get the team going in the right direction.“I’m hoping to be back in the next week or so.“The fans have been unreal to me and my family as has everyone in St Helens. The office staff, coaches and medical staff, as well as Eamonn McManus and the board have been unbelievable and I hope to repay that faith with some silverware.”last_img read more

Man knifed in St Julians

first_img SharePrint A man was grievously wounded after he was knifed in the face during an argument in St Julian’s, Tuesday morning.District Police and the Rapid Intervention Unit arrived on site and found a 25 year old man with wounds in his face.From preliminary investigations, police concluded that the man was wounded by means of a sharp and pointed weapon. A 44 year old man from St Julian’s is being investigated further by the Police.The victim from St Paul’s Bay is being hospitalized.Two men arraigned in Gozo CourtThe police arraigned in court two British men aged 25 accusing them of grievously wounding another man on July 14. The case occurred in Xlendi Road, limits of Munxar.The men pleaded guilty to the charges brought against them and were granted bail under various conditions.Inspector Bernard Charles Spiteri led the prosecution.WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more