Mencap's response to the adult social care green paper
Wednesday 15 July 2009
Mark Goldring, chief executive of learning disability charity Mencap, said:
"We welcome the vision set out in the green paper. There are clearly elements that will improve the lives of all people who need support services and we are pleased to see a commitment from the government to a portable national assessment system.
"But it is highly disappointing that the government has failed to provide clearer guidance on how it will provide better services for a growing population of people with a learning disability in a green paper that focuses almost exclusively on older people.
"Establishing a funding system that strikes the right balance between individual and state for older people will fail to address the needs of people with a learning disability who need life-long packages of care and rarely have any savings. Many people with a learning disability are not currently getting the support they need and the green paper does not currently explain how this will be improved.
"People with a learning disability and their families and carers have been in a living nightmare for too long. Every day someone with a learning disability sees their hours of support reduced or cut altogether, depriving them and their families and carers of their right to live as normal a life as possible.
"Maintaining the status quo for people with a learning disability is not good enough."
Mencap spokespeople available for interview.
Contact: Lucy Hannagan, firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 7696 6017
Notes to editors
- Mencap works with people with a learning disability and their families and carers.
- 1.5 million people in the UK have a learning disability.
- A learning disability is caused by the way the brain develops before, during or shortly after birth. It is always lifelong.
- Learning disability affects someone's intellectual and social development all their life. People with a learning disability find it harder than others to learn, understand and communicate.
- People with a learning disability don't get an equal chance in life. Mencap fights to change laws and services and to provide better access to education, employment and leisure facilities, supporting thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.
- It is not a mental illness and should not be confused with mental health issues. It is not dyslexia or Asperger's syndrome.
- It used to be called mental handicap but we don't use this term anymore because most people with a learning disability find it offensive.
- For information about learning disability issues please call the Learning Disability Helpline (England) on 0808 808 1111 or visit www.mencap.org.uk
- For online press information, go to www.mencap.org.uk/press