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LA Care Act implementation fails disabled people

14 October 2015

Promoting choice and control? How the implementation of the Care Act by local authorities is failing disabled people

The Independent Living strategy Group, of which Disability Rights UK is a member and In Control, has just launched a report ‘Promoting People’s Right to Choice and Control under the Care Act 2014’. Link to full report, link to key messages.

Two pieces of research and analysis were carried out to explore the degree to which local authorities are following the spirit and letter of the Care Act and its statutory guidance in seeking to optimize choice and control.  

Despite emphasis on wellbeing, choice and control within the Care Act the survey found near half of respondents felt their quality of life had reduced and 30% experienced a reduction in choice and control.

The research also found that Local Authorities are generally not yet meeting their duties to provide people with clear information.

Sue Bott, Disability Rights UK says; “Local authorities might argue that it is early days in the implementation of the Care Act but if you don’t start as you mean to go on then the spirit of the Act will never be implemented.  This report demonstrates, and the calls to our advice line also show, that disabled people are being denied choice and control over how support needs are met and that independent living is being fundamentally undermined”.

Jenny Morris, one of the authors of the report says “There is such a yawning gap between the welcome principles of the Care Act 2014 and what is actually happening to older and disabled people. Personal budgets were supposed to enable everyone who needed social care support to have the kind of choice and control that was previously only open to those receiving direct payments.  Instead, they have been rolled out in the context of a major financial crisis facing adult social care, and the result is not only a reduction in choice but also a decrease in the quality of people’s everyday lives. This is the government’s responsibility and they must act. 

Julie Stansfield from In Control says “ We are concerned that the tools that were meant to support people get control are now being used as mechanistic processes to prevent people getting true choice and control. Personal budgets are being defined simply as a cost of service provision rather than its intention to shift control and enable people to self direct their own support. There is little information about how people might be able to control their personal budget through ISF’s, trusts or Direct payments and this is worrying”


Key messages

Promoting people’s right to choice and control under the Care Act 2014

Promoting choice and control?