Supported Employment in Edinburgh

Supported Employment in Edinburgh

Other Campaigns
The Learning Disability Alliance Scotland has met over the last week with service users of supported employment services over concerns they have had over recent developments within Edinburgh. This short briefing paper provides some notes on the situation and possible solutions.  Background: In 2011 a number of projects offering supported employment to people with disabilities were transferred from Health and Social Care to Corporate Services.  Responsibility for the future of these projects now rests with Economic Development Services. A recent paper - Review of Disability Employment Support Services in Edinburgh – has proposed that Economic Development Services reorganise its third sector supported employment services from an “employment pathway” approach into a single agency delivering “pure supported employment.” The employment pathway approach sees a range of personalised step for individuals in…
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London borough faces legal action over proposed closure of respite facility

London borough faces legal action over proposed closure of respite facility

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The London Borough of Ealing is facing legal action over proposals to close a respite care facility for young people with complex disabilities. The proceedings against the council are being brought by law firm Irwin Mitchell on behalf of the family of a 17-year-old, severely disabled boy (C) who has used Heller House in Southall for two nights per week since December 2010. C has also used the nine-bedroom children’s home for short breaks. Ealing took the decision on 16 February to close the facility. The claimant argues, however, that no alternative respite care has been formalised and children who use Heller House could be forced to travel out of the borough. Calling on the council to rescind its decision, Irwin Mitchell claimed that, because Ealing decided to close the…
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CUTS IN COUNCIL AFTER COUNCIL BUT GOOD NEWS IN FALKIRK

CUTS IN COUNCIL AFTER COUNCIL BUT GOOD NEWS IN FALKIRK

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Many councils such as Glasgow and Edinburgh have announced plans to cut their budgets in the coming financial year.  Others  such as North Ayrshire and Aberdeenshire are promising to increase the amount they take in Care Charges again! But in Falkirk, campaigners have managed to get the council to think again about one particular cut.    Falkirk Equal People , one of the members of LDAS, meets weekly in Grangemouth to encourage members to become more independent and act as advocates for social justice and equal opportunities. The local council supports the  group with a free let all year round, and 13 hours of support work.   However, budget proposals suggested  this help would end and the group might have to stop operating altogether. A large public meeting was held in Grangemouth…
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Cutting Services In Edinburgh?

Cutting Services In Edinburgh?

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Earlier this year, Edinburgh Council announced they were going to cut £15 million from the social work budget including nearly £3 million for support packages for people with learning disabilities and other support needs. The Self Directed Support system which had been running for just over 12 months was to be overhauled, budgets were to be cut by 20% and a streamlined review process was to find ways to cut back support packages, one by one. New teams of social workers charged with leading the reviews were organised. It was to be a new approach. And unsurprisingly first reports were worrying with one of the new social workers putting it, “After all, do you know how much it costs to keep people with learning disabilities.” Fortunately wiser heads have prevailed.…
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Who pays for your care?

Who pays for your care?

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Supreme Court overturns key Court of Appeal decision on ordinary residence The Supreme Court has rejected a Court of Appeal ruling on who has financial responsibility for the care of an adult with physical and learning disabilities, instead ruling that the local authority initially responsible for meeting his needs as a child should be responsible for his care after the age of 18. The ruling was made despite the subject, PH, having been placed in foster care outside the authority’s area from the age of five, having lived out-county all of his adult life and his natural parents having also moved away from the local authority area of his birth. PH has physical and learning disabilities and there is no dispute that he is entitled to receive care costing around…
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Are people with learning disabilities being drugged to make them behave?

Are people with learning disabilities being drugged to make them behave?

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Following reports in England that the NHS is to stop 'over-medicating' people with learning disabilities, questions are being raised if the same thing is happening in Scotland. NHS England has pledged to take urgent action after reports highlighted that as many as 1 in 6 people are being ‘over-medicated’ by healthcare professionals, and that up to 35,000 adults with a learning disability are being prescribed an antipsychotic, an antidepressant or both without appropriate clinical justification. That would imply that possibly about 3,000 people with learning disabilities might be affected if a similar system was in place here. But so far we cannot find out because proper records of the same sort that exist in England do not yet exist in Scotland.
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IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT

IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT

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guest post from Carolan Connolly CARERS CENTRES IN GLASGOW OUT TO TENDER Why are carers always the last to know about changes to services that affect them directly. Our lives are already challenged in GLASGOW due to the forced Personalisation and SDS agenda affecting the lives of our loved ones which seen many of us seeking guidance and support through our local Carers Centres. NOW we learn they are all out for tender!………… WELL ACTUALLY ONLY A FEW CARERS KNOW,  THE MANY THOUSANDS WHO USE THESE SERVICES HAVE NOT BEEN TOLD. I myself found out by chance  and in accordance to the timeline thousands will not have their views considered.  The timeline and focus: *Focus Groups 11th 13th 14th May *Issues addressed by late August early September. *The winning service/s…
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Abuse and Illegal restraint in Dundee school

Abuse and Illegal restraint in Dundee school

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Kingspark School in Dundee opened in 2009 but very quickly concerns emerged.    By 2013, there were 20% more pupils in the school that had been planned. By 2014, it was nearly 140% more – 175 instead of 125. In 2010 a new electronic recording system encouraged school staff to see themselves as the victims of attacks by school pupils even where there was no malicious intent such as a child having an epileptic fit whose involuntary hand movements touched a member of staff. Recorded “violent” incidents grew from 100 in 09-10 to over 1,000 in the first 6 months of 2013.  But no one seems to have asked what was happening. Meanwhile allegations were being made that a small but significant number of children were being illegally restrained or subject to…
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NATIONAL GUIDANCE TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN

NATIONAL GUIDANCE TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN

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A new petition is shortly to be heard in the Scottish Parliament calling for more help in providing a safe environment for some of the  most vulnerable children in Scotland.  The current use of physical interventions, physical restraint and seclusion in Scottish schools is poorly understood and inconsistent leading to many children experiencing what may be called at best, institutional child abuse or at worst, criminal assault. A number of families from Dundee are promoting this due to their experiences at the local Kingspark school.  One boy at the age of 11 was forced by four adult members of staff to the ground, face down in a prone restraint, that left him badly bruised and traumatised for reasons that have never been properly explained (see picture).   Other families found their…
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Care Home Plans Dropped

Care Home Plans Dropped

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Readers will remember the article in our last newsletter about the proposed 20 bed care home in Glasgow. Glasgow City Council has decided not to proceed with its controversial plan to commission a new 20 bed care home for adults with learning disabilities. The tender process finished before Christmas and in early January senior council staff cited "technical issues out of our control" as reason for not proceeding.  We are delighted that wiser heads at the councils have prevailed and decided not to go ahead with this proposal. Unnamed sources at the council denied that the concerns and objections raised the this policy has any effect saying “If you think your views changed any policy you couldn’t be more wrong.   But the source went on to make a comment that…
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