Following reports that the Government is set to make an announcement about social care reforms and funding next week, Mencap responds.
Edel Harris, Chief Executive of the learning disability charity Mencap, said:
“We are pleased that the Government is set to take a brave decision to raise funds for social care reform. The burden of our broken system now falls on people who need social care, underpaid care workers and struggling providers, which is unfair. It would be a tragedy to squander this opportunity by not raising enough money. 1% will not be enough – especially if the intention is to use it to provide additional funding for the NHS too.
“Whatever funding scheme is proposed, it needs to work for younger disabled adults as well as older people; few people with a learning disability have savings or own their own homes to pay for care. The pandemic has been devastating for people with a learning disability: they had their care cut when they needed it most and now they’re being asked to pay more in care contributions which they can’t afford. At the same time, thousands of dedicated care workers are leaving the profession because they aren’t getting paid properly for the skilled work they do. Any proposed funding solution has to address the needs of people who need care and those who provide it to make our social care system fit for the 21st century.”
For further information or to arrange an interview with a Mencap spokesperson or case study, please contact Mencap’s media team on: firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7696 5414 (including out of hours).
Notes to editors:
Mencap is calling for:
- a clear plan for supporting the whole care market, including services for work-aged disabled adults which currently make up around half of the total social care budget
- additional funding to meet current demand for support and stabilise the sector
- a road map towards the Government's plans for social care reform, including a long-term funding solution, fairer access to services and support and workforce reform
- Social care reform and long-term funding must cover a range of services and support that people with a learning disability need beyond personal care to enable them to lead independent and fulfilling lives in their community.
Nearly one in five people who receive long-term social care have a learning disability and half of the total social care budget is spent on services for working-aged disabled adults.
The social care sector needs at least £7 billion investment a year in social care in England by 2023/24, according to the Health and Social Care Committee. While the Association of Directors of Adults Social Services’ latest Budget Survey revealed that there is a growing hole in local authorities budgets for services supporting people with a learning disability – up to £240m in 2021/22 from £180m in 2019/20.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to local councils in England facing at least a £6.6bn increase in social care costs up to the end of September, according to the Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Adults Social Services.
There are approximately 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want: www.mencap.org.uk
For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact Mencap’s Freephone Learning Disability Helpline on 0808 808 1111 (10am-3pm, Monday-Friday) or email email@example.com.
What is a learning disability?
- A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability which can cause problems with everyday tasks – for example shopping and cooking, or travelling to new places – which affects someone for their whole life;
- Learning disability is NOT a mental illness or a learning difficulty, such as dyslexia. Very often the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used interchangeably with ‘learning disability’;
- People with a learning disability can take longer to learn new things and may need support to develop new skills, understand difficult information and engage with other people. The level of support someone needs is different with every individual. For example, someone with a severe learning disability might need much more support with daily tasks than someone with a mild learning disability.