Shocking survey results show ‘yawning gap’ between Care Act and real life

Extract from Disability News Service (by John Pring), 16 October 2015

Nearly half of disabled people receiving care and support from their local authority say their quality of life has fallen in the last year, despite major new legislation designed to boost their well-being, choice and control.

The survey of 399 disabled people was carried out by the Independent Living Strategy Group (ILSG) – some of whose members were part of the independent living movement in the 1970s – as part of a reportassessing the impact of the Care Act 2014 on choice and control.

The group was set up by a broad range of disabled activists and disability organisations concerned about the potential impact of welfare reform and cuts to public services on independent living, and the government’s failure to follow through on its 2010 pledge to monitor the implementation of Labour’s independent living strategy.

Members of the group include Baroness [Jane] Campbell, the leading activist John Evans, the Spinal Injuries Association, Inclusion London, Scope and Disability Rights UK.

Their report was funded and published by In Control, the charity which helped develop the idea of personal budgets*.

Source and full article at

As a care service provider for adults with learning disabilities, we had questions about how well the supported living scheme has been working. Having cared for people for more than a decade, our observations were that transitioning such a large proportion of service users from residential care and into supported living arrangements would cause a large number of breakdowns.

It is clear that public budgets need to be redesigned as our demographic shift continues to age. However, a poorly designed policy could end up costing a far greater sum and/or having adverse societal implications.

We should all be monitoring the progress of the supported living policy to ensure that it is working as it was intended. Given our experience as carers, we have had our reservations and this survey seems to corroborate our initial assumptions.

Good work on the research, ILSG. This is a relative snapshot that can start to help us all understand how we move forward together to provide better care with maximum efficiency.