Day service cuts increase isolation among disabled people

Date Published: 23 May 2012 @ 00:05 AM
Article By: Richard Howard, News Editor

Charity Mencap are growing increasingly concerned over the issue of isolation and loneliness among adults with learning disabilities, after research estimated that one in four are now stuck at home because of local authority cuts to day centre services.

The report ‘Stuck at home: the impact of day service cuts on people with a learning disability’ was published yesterday, collating the findings of a freedom of information request made to 151 councils in England, together with a survey of 280 adults affected and their families.

Data showed that 32% of the local authorities had cut day centre services in the last three years, with 57% of people with a learning disability receiving no services at all despite being known as vulnerable to social care departments. Prices have also risen at 60% of councils, with one in four family carers finding themselves worse off as a result, and almost one-third of individuals surveyed admitted to feeling either isolated or lonely.

Mencap chief executive Mark Goldring commented “Our social care system is letting down this country’s most marginalised adults. It is deeply worrying that progress towards greater participation of disabled people in the community and mainstream society risks being undone by a failing system that has long been ignored and is now creaking under the pressure of increased demand and budget cuts.”

The Labour party’s shadow care minister Liz Kendall MP responded to the report by urging the Government to commit to care reform, saying: “Mencap's survey provides yet more evidence that our care system is in crisis and has now reached breaking point.”

Liz Kendall continued: “The Government must act to ensure we have a better, fairer and more sustainable system for funding social care in future.”

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