Friday 1 July 2011

GLC challenge proposed care package cull for severely disabled Glaswegians

GLC has written to Glasgow City Council's (GCC) Director of Social Care challenging the legality of plans to cut funding by up to 40% for care packages for adults with profound learning disabilities, often requiring 24/7 'one to one' care services in the City. 

The proposals follow GCC's adoption of a 'Self Directed Support' (SDS) funding system whereby clients can take charge of their own funding to ensure a more personalised, choice-based service.  However, Govan Law Centre is concerned that the new SDS system is being used to mask an irrational funding cull for some of the most vulnerable adults and children in Glasgow.

The new system is being introduced in phases; the current first phase affecting 1,800 adults with learning disabilities in the City, with future groups including children with learning disabilities and those with mental health disabilities.

GLC's Principal Solicitor, Mike Dailly said: "Govan Law Centre has identified a number of apparent major legal flaws in the new SDS system and its imposition to vulnerable persons via a 'review' of their care needs. We believe the Council needs to urgently rethink its entire process here, and in the interim continue existing funding packages. Otherwise, we believe the Council will be vulnerable to challenges by way of judicial review."

"There is also a fundamental human rights issue at stake with this care package cull: a 40% cut to care services to severely disabled persons who may be unable to communicate or undertake basic tasks, translates into placing human beings at high risk of self-harm, pain, suffering, and ultimately death, due to the fact, for example, no-one will be watching them during the night if they start choking or self-harming. Why would any Scottish public body want to do this?".

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