Highlight any text and click to have it read aloud
Please consider supporting our work.
Take Part In Our Latest Events
|12 Oct 2015|
Glasgow Stronger Together
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.
Interesting news today from the Petitions Committee. The Clerks organised that our petition on ending social care charges for everyone be heard shortly after a petition from Amanda Kopel which was also seeking to end care charges for people with Alzheimer's and other degenerative conditions. Because the Cabinet Secretary Shona Robison had been present for an earlier petition she stayed on to comment on the care charging issues. Her news was
- Professor David Bell from Strathclyde University has been working on financial options for achieving fairer and more consistent care charges. He has now finished this work and the report is with the Scottish Government.
- The Scottish Government agree in principle that they need to take action to achieve a fairer social care charging system.
- The Scottish Government would be reforming care charges for all service users regardless of disability or condition.
- There were a number of options that the Scottish Government were considering such as Increasing the minimum income disregards or extending Free Personal Care to the under 65s
- The options that would be eventually chosen would depend on the final decisions over the budget for the next 3 years in Novembers spending reviews
- The Scottish Government proposals would be published well before the dissolution of the Scottish Parliament in March 2016
This Wednesday sees the launch of a consultation on a private members bill to abolish all social care charges and the work has begun on a number of legal cases to challenge the fundamentals of social care charging. We are hopeful that these efforts will come together to achieve real and lasting change.
The Learning Disability Alliance Scotland has produced a new guide to what Health and Social Care Integration might mean for people with learning disabilities. It uses a combination of Easy Read information and photo stories including the "Carry On" films to help explain what the benefits of working together are. This will still take some time to work through but it is a fun way of exploring a challenging subject.
However this is not a study of what is actually happening on the ground with local authority and health board plans. Further research on this will be available at a later date.
Our first article is about Disability Hate Crime. This month sees Police Scotland launch it first ever Tackling Hate Crime awareness month with each week featuring different types of hate crime. The first week is on Disability Hate Crime. Earlier this year, new figures showed that reported Disability Hate Crime has gone up by 270%. Read more here.
Our second article is about Poverty and Disabled People. The current way of calculating poverty focuses on income. We think it does not take enough account of disability related expenditure and this means that poverty among disabled people may be twice as much as the official figures suggest. Because this is a difficult subject there is a link to more detailed information at the bottom of the online article.
Our third article is about the treatment of Stephen Armstrong. Stephen died in hospital in circumstances that might not have occurred if hospital staff had had a better understanding of learning disability. This is a controversial subject that is may yet be subject to a Fatal Accident Inquiry. There are links to additional reports and newspaper reports at the bottom of the online article.
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. 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.
All our online articles can be read aloud simply by highlighting the text and then clicking it.
The Keys to Life has pledged to improve the health of people with learning disabilities by ensuring that all those who work in health care understand the health needs of people with learning disabilities, how these can differ from the general population and to respond appropriately.
Perhaps these words have never been truer than in the case of Stephen Armstrong of East Kilbride. In 2013, Stephen died from urinary sepsis less than 72 hours after going into hospital. There have been a range of reviews but they have left Stephen’s family unsatisfied and his sister, Katherine is now pushing for a Fatal Accident Inquiry.
Before he went into hospital Stephen enjoyed an active life. He received 24/7 care all of his life and had good health and was never overweight. He attended the gym twice a week, had been at the circus days before he became unwell, and had tickets for the wrestling the day he died.
But in hospital the evidence suggests that nursing and medical staff saw his learning disability first and as a person second. Stephen was in a wheelchair due to a spinal injury but Katherine believes hospital staff saw only a learning disabled man with a temperature who couldn't use his legs and who had a catheter and therefore did not prioritise his treatment.
If they had understood he had a spinal cord injury, it is likely medical staff would immediately start thinking about possible complications. Urinary sepsis is the most common cause of death after spinal injury and any infection would have been treated aggressively.
Stephen was admitted to hospital with a high temperature, drowsiness and possible pneumonia. But it was nearly 22 hours after his admission that he was given intravenous antibiotics and had his catheter changed. Key actions that could have made a real difference for Stephen
Yet Stephen had a health passport—his personal carer stayed with him in hospital—his sister was available for advice—there was a letter from the GP. All things that we are told will make a difference . Is what happened to Stephen “indirect discrimination”? Maybe a Fatal Accident Inquiry could help us all know what needs to be done to meet that Keys To Life pledge.