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|04 Dec 2015|
Forth Valley Stronger Together
The Friends of Barrhead and Thornliebank Resource Centres who were campaigning to save both their local day centres have put out the following statement from East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership who have now decided to keep o[en both centres.
Please read the very brief statement below from the East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership - it is an excellent result for the group but the statement also demonstrates our need to keep together and to keep engaging with them as the centres start to change.
We will thank all the individuals and organisations who have offered their support over the last years - ERDA, PAMIS, Learning Disability Alliance,Downs Syndrome Society, SDSForumER, carers' representatives, MSPs etc
This is a great group and we have made a significant impact in East Renfrewshire....( and beyond - some Glasgow carers rightly feeling even more now that they were never listened to.)
LEARNING DISABILITY DAY SERVICES
In February this year the Council approved a range of savings measures proposed by the HSCP including £90k which we hoped to achieve by the closure of one of our learning disability day centre buildings. We saw this as a natural consequence of our vision and strategy for daytime activities for people with learning disabilities. That vision, which we had been developing over a number of years, was for people with learning disabilities to access a much wider range of community based options, from volunteering to employment and participating in a wider range of community activities with support. Our intent was to work with a range of groups and agencies to develop alternatives that met the aspirations of people with learning disabilities to live good lives. It was also a good fit with self directed support, where more personalised support arrangements – perhaps with alternative providers, would evolve over time.
People with learning disabilities die on average 20 years earlier than the people that live around them irrespective of wealth, earning or geographical location.
Some of this is due to nearly 7 out of every 10 people with learning disabilities having other health conditions. The link of Downs Syndrome to early onset dementia and heart problems is well known. Less well known is the occurence of a physical disability, mental health conditions or long term illnesses in other people with learning disabilities.
Some of the things that would make people healthier are well known. More exercise and healthy diets. Easy to say but much harder to do.
Recent research into the Scottish Government’s “Walk Well” programme found that there was no lasting change for people with learning disabilities through using it. This was a 12 week programme that introduced people to walking in a structured way but when people with learning disabilities finished the course, they rarely had support workers in place who had the time to help them continue the walking programme.
People with learning disabilities have spoken about how they find “good food” to be more expensive and when they do try and buy cheaper natural ingredients it is hard for them to prepare cooked meals using these.
But health care is about much more than this, it is about the help from doctors, hospitals and NHS ‘24. In our last newsletter we wrote about Stephen Armstrong’s treatment in hospital. Many things went wrong for Stephen even though he had the support that people thought he needed.
Many people feel they have great treatment from the NHS. The nurses and doctors are nice and speak to them respectfully. There are health passports, both in booklet form and electronically. There are special nurses that are trained to help people with learning disabilities available all over Scotland.
But as Robert Burns once said, “facts are chiels that winna ding and downa be disputed.” Facts are stubborn. People with learning disabilities die earlier than the rest of the population, their health needs are often diagnosed late and many people have poor lifestyles.
So what’s going wrong? To be honest no one is really sure. We need you to tell us what is right and wrong for you or the people you support. We will find out what is happening all over Scotland and put the answers together to help make better plans for the future.
Our first article is about our new Health Survey. People with learning disabilities die earlier than almost every other part of the population and generally enjoy poor health. We are asking people with learning disabilities, their families and paid staff to tell us what their experience has been and what can make it better. We want to find out what lies behind the numbers. You will be able to answer a short questionnaire, tell us your story, come to meetings to talk to other people about these and share ways of making things better. You can take part at www.tinyurl.com/LDASsurvey
Our second article is about the new Care Charging consultation. Siobhan McMahon MSP has launched a new consultation on whether we need more legislation to end care charges. We are encouraging people to respond. We also have more news from the Petitions Committee.
Our third article is about the a range of measures to cut services in Edinburgh. This caused a lot of concern in Edinburgh over the summer and as we note in the article, wiser people have stopped much of these but there are still a number of worrying measures in place.
Finally there is a short note in the printed newsletter that we will be launching a national survey in the autumn of this year to find out the experience of people with learning disabilities and their families about the treatment they have had from the NHS.
All our online articles can be read aloud simply by highlighting the text and then clicking it.
The Ayrshire Stronger Together group has been working on personal Independence Payment for a while and has put together a training course to help make sure people with learning disabilities get the right help in applying for the new benefit.
From October 2015 the DWP will be asking everyone with Disability Living Allowance to apply for Personal Independence Payment. Many people with learning disabilities are worried that they may not get the help they need to apply.
Some people will be able to get professional help but many others will depend on family members and support staff to complete their forms with them. We would like to invite families and paid staff who support people with learning disabilities to a training course to help complete the application forms for the new Personal Independence Payment and to prepare for any further information that might be needed.
We have up to 20 places on each course but at this time they are only open to families from Ayrshire as the training course will be based in Kilmarnock. There is no cost to the course but they do need to book. There are more details on the leaflet.
MSP Siobhan McMahon today launched a consultation on the abolition of non-residential social care charges.The consultation was launched at the Scottish Parliament and will be open until Friday 30th January 2016.
Currently, many disabled people are being driven into poverty due to the increasing amounts of money that they have to pay as a contribution towards their social care.
Ms McMahon believes that non-residential social care is an equality and human rights issue and, therefore, should be free at the point of delivery. She also believes that the current system is unfair, because charging procedures for these care services differ considerably between local authorities.
Previously, a petition was lodged at the Scottish Parliament by the ‘Scotland Against the Care Tax’ group which was signed by 4013 people and urged the Scottish Government to abolish all local authority charges for non-residential social care services.
The consultation has received backing from many organisations including the ‘Scotland Against the Care Tax’ group, Learning Disability Alliance Scotland, and Quarriers, who were all represented at the launch event.
There were also a number of people present from across Scotland who have experienced first-hand the difficulties these charges can present to disabled people who wish to enjoy the things in life that non-disabled people take for granted.