Responding to today’s Autumn Budget Statement (Wednesday), Mencap expressed disappointment that the voice of people with a learning disability and their families had not been heard.
And suggested that a Budget that claimed to ‘care for the vulnerable’ ought to have recognised the precarious future of learning disability care, threatened by a £400 million back-pay bill for unfunded statutory care, the prospect of people losing their homes, staff losing their jobs and providers grappling with growing debts and the prospect of insolvency.
Jan Tregelles, chief executive of Mencap, said:
“This Budget that claimed to be investing in Britain’s future and that ‘cares for the vulnerable’, will leave many people with a learning disability, their families and care workers wondering if this is a Government that really cares about them.
“The sleep-in funding crisis, caused by faulty Government guidance on overnight shift payments cannot be ignored any longer. A new enforcement process is no substitute for a funded, responsible solution.
“Government must urgently make clear its intention to provide critical financial support for providers, who were simply delivering, local authority commissioned care services.”
For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact the Mencap press office on 020 7696 5414 or firstname.lastname@example.org or for out of hours 07770 656 659.
Notes to editors
There are 1.4 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.
For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact the Learning Disability Helpline on 0808 808 1111 (9am-5pm, 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.
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.
Learning disability is not a mental illness or a learning difficulty. Very often the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used interchangeably with ‘learning disability’.