DPO Defeats 'Absolutely Unacceptable' Social Care Policy

Tue,6 February 2024
News Equality & Rights Health & Social Care
The proposed Fair and Affordable Care Act, which would have seen Bristol's Disabled residents forced into care homes if their independent living and at home care costs were seen as 'too expensive', has been scrapped due to the tireless campaigning of grassroots Disabled People's Organisations (DPOs).

Campaigners from the DPO Bristol Reclaiming Independent Living have been celebrating the success of their campaign to stop the introduction of a "Fair and Affordable Care Policy", which said that Disabled people could be offered a "residential or nursing home placement if "a care package to remain at home would substantially exceed the affordability of residential care", and it warns that "exceptions" to this policy "are likely to be rare". 

Following the announcement of the policy in 2023, Disability Rights UK slammed Bristol Council's plans to remove Disabled people's rights to at-home care as "absolutely unacceptable" and in breach of law. 

We wrote letters to the Mayor of Bristol and the Leader of Bristol's Green Group, wherein our CEO Kamran Mallick said that it was "absolutely unacceptable" that the draft policy talks about overriding the option to receive care and support in the home if the council decides that this would not achieve "best value." 

Following a hard-fought campaign by BRIL and allies across the movement, which also generated national media interest, the councillor responsible for Social Chair Helen Holland wrote to BRIL and other Disabled campaigners that the policy has been dropped and that the council will work with Disabled people in Bristol and across the country to come up with a new proposal. 

Helen Holland's letter was sent to Alun Davies, the chair of the Bristol Disability Equality Commission, acknowledging the 'strong concerns that some Disabled people in our city and nationally have raised' during the consultation period.  

Disability Rights UK welcomes the victory of BRIL's fantastic campaign and offers our support and solidarity for their ongoing campaign in Bristol.