Mencap, a UK charity for people with a learning disability, has urged the government to make sure disabled people are not forgotten from the social care debate.
The organisation made the plea after the Conservatives promised to find a cross-party consensus that addresses social care challenges in the long-term.
Half of social care spending in England is allocated to disabled adults aged 18-64 – a third of whom have a learning disability, according to Mencap, but it has been suggested by leaders in the sector that disabled people are often overlooked by politicians in their pledges to fix the social care system.
Examining Boris Johnson’s opening remarks as prime minister in July, Age UK director Caroline Abrahams said social care has been defined purely in terms of the needs of older people.
And according to the 2019 ADASS Budget Survey, local authorities are facing a £180 million hole in their social care budget to meet the current levels of support being provided for people with a learning disability.
Dan Scorer, head of Policy and Public Affairs at the learning disability charity Mencap, said: “Disabled people who have already been left behind by years of austerity are being forgotten from this debate. Support for disabled adults makes up half of the social care budget, of which a third is for people with a learning disability.
“People with a learning disability are less likely to own their own home or have life savings that can be used to fund their care. A lack of local social care support means people with a learning disability are experiencing loneliness, poverty and homelessness. While we welcome the announcement that the government will seek cross-party consensus on proposals for long-term reform of social care, what we need now is a clear plan from Government and the money the system needs to fix the social care crisis for good, including for disabled people.”
There are 1.5 million people in the UK who have a learning disability, a lifelong reduced intellectual ability which means that people need support with everyday tasks like cooking, travelling, attending appointments and managing money etc.
For people with severe or profound and multiple learning disabilities they need round the clock care including help with personal care.
In the year 2017/18, 150,000 people with a learning disability in England received support from their local authority.
Caption: Mencap’s domiciliary care service in Gainsborough was rated Outstanding by the CQC in July.