Last reviewed: October 2016 | Next review: Currently being reviewed

Current situation

People with a learning disability should be able to live their life in the way they choose, like anyone else. Getting the right care and support can be crucial for this to happen. Mencap believe that people with a learning disability must also have choice and control over where they live and how they are supported.

Care and support can range from a few hours to 24 hours a day. This can include many things, like supporting someone to get up and get dressed, develop friendships and relationships , and become active members of their community .

The issues

  • 1 in 4 people with a learning disability now spends less than 1 hour a day outside of their home due to cuts to day services (Mencap’s Stuck at Home report, 2012)
  • Spending on adult social care in England has fallen í4.6bn over the last five years, so there is real pressure on the system
  • Today, support for people with a learning disability comprises around 30% of social care funding in the UK. If pressures on the system persist, there will be an estimated í926m funding shortage for learning disability support services by 2020
  • There are currently around 3,480people with a learning disability in inpatient units in England. Many are there due to a lack of the right support and services in their local community
Social care vision statement

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Social care easy read statement

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What we want 

We want everyone with a learning disability, together with their families and carers, to get the support they require when it’s needed. And we want people with a learning disability to be happy, safe, well and valued; able to live their lives to the full in the way they choose.

In order to make this happen:

  • the threshold for getting support should be lowered to ensure people with a learning disability with moderate needs do not miss out
  • there must be more funding in the social care system to ensure the needs of people with a learning disability can be met
  • the social care workforce must have the right skills to support people with a learning disability, including those with complex needs. They must be paid a wage that reflects their skills and responsibility and be valued for the work they do
  • the right support and services must be developed in local areas to ensure people with a learning disability can become active members of their community. Local authorities and the health service must work together effectively to make this happen
  • people with a learning disability and their families must get information about the support that is available to them and their rights . They must also get the help they need to understand and exercise these rights, including challenging cuts to support and services.

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