Learning Disability Voices, the leading coalition of not-for-profit, private and voluntary sector providers of learning disability care services, has today launched its 2017 Care Crisis Manifesto which can be read here.
Ahead of the General Election on 8th June, care providers have warned that the long-term future of services are at risk unless the new Government prioritises care for people with learning disabilities.
This updated version of the original Care Crisis Manifesto (published in May 2016) acknowledges the positive direction of travel that Government policy has taken in relation to adult social care, but highlights the immense funding challenges the learning disability services sector continues to face.
Support for elderly care has long been the Government’s priority, but Learning Disability Voices members call on policy makers to better recognise the fact that services for people with learning disabilities make up 39% of total adult social care provision.
In the longer-term, the Manifesto calls for fresh thinking in respect to how the sector is funded. In the shorter-term, it outlines a number of key policy asks of the new Government, which include:
· Ensuring front-loaded money is made available through the Better Care Fund and reaches learning disability services.
· Urgently resolving the challenges posed by the application of the National Living Wage to sleep-in shifts.
· Ensuring local authorities have more freedom to raise their Council Tax Precept thresholds.
· Clarifying plans for the future of supported housing.
· Prioritising recruitment and retention in the post-Brexit care workforce.
Commenting, Tim Cooper, Co-Chair of Learning Disability Voices and Chief Executive of United Response, said:
“As providers of learning disability services for the most vulnerable people in the UK, we are today calling on the incoming Government to recognise the key issues, not just for adult social care, but for those with learning disabilities specifically. At 39% of England’s adult social care spend, learning disability services are simply too big to ignore and we look forward to working with the new Government to ensure that care for those living with a learning disability is of the quality that they deserve.”
Andrew Cannon, Co-Chair of Learning Disability Voices and Chief Executive of Voyage Care, said:
“The new Government must establish a consensus on the desperate need to resolve the crisis in funding for learning disability services. Whichever party takes office, we hope that it immediately alleviates the current pressures on the provider sector, and delivers on a vision for the sustainability of high-quality services in the longer-term. Without this focus, we will be unable to safeguard the future of care for people with learning disabilities.”