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|06 May 2016|
Forth Valley Stronger Together
Glasgow City introduced personalisation in 2010 as part of a programme designed to save up to £6.4 million per year. The first phase of this for people with learning disabilities was rapidly extended to other groups. As individual budgets became the preferred method of managing support packages the council moved to close a number of day centres arguing that with individual budgets, less people would use these services.
Actually it seems that less people now use any services in Glasgow. Official figures from ESAY reports that the number of people with learning disabilities receiving any service from the council fell again in the last year, this time by 104 people to just 2,306 in 2015.
Figures produced by the NHS suggest that others have been seeking out NHS help when they cannot get it from the council. At around the time of the introduction of personalisation in Glasgow the number of “inpatient weeks” rose rapidly as can be seen in the chart. By 2013, it was costing NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde an additional £4.5 million per year.
It seems strange that a policy of that was presented as being about Choice And Control should be connected to less people getting any service and more people using specialist hospital services.
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 where it was said “this would be an example of an extremely short-sighted cut. If this group goes then you are going to see more people demanding support from health services and social services and this will end up costing a lot more money.”
Hundreds of signatures were collected on a petition. A demonstration was planned outside the Council’s budget meeting along with a deputation inside. However a few days before the council met, the group were told that plans for any cuts this year were being withdrawn.
While none of the members were resting as the cuts might re-emerge next year, this is a result the group can be proud of.
The European Union is a partnership of 28 countries. In a partnership you have to make changes so that everyone gets along. So Britain has made some changes to the way it works to get along with others.
Some people don't like this and want to leave. Other people do like this and want to remain.
We have produced a Short Easy Read guide to the European Referendum. You can download it here.
There will be more information available from the big campaigns. Check back here to find out more in the next few months
In a surprise announcement Glasgow City Council is to close Cordia, the Arms-Length External Organisation (ALEO) which until now has been the preferred provider of social care in the city. Cordia employees will transfer to the Council, bringing its social care function back in-house.
As part of the new approach, the Council will overhaul the way that it purchases community-based care services from other providers, including the third sector, in line with their Transformation Strategy, a far reaching reform programme that aims to modernise working practices and deliver required savings of £133m over the next two years. See this article for more details
Proposals include testing a new purchasing model, which will see a move away from purchasing care services by the hour. It is unclear at this stage what the new model will look like, however, a further report will be submitted to committee in March 2016 outlining plans, which will include working with a small number of organisations in the coming year to test out new approaches..
It with great sadness that we heard that James Rankin has died peacefully in his sleep. James was a long term member of the Learning Disability Alliance Scotland and helped to make the Alliance what it is today. He was well known for his great sense of humour and passionate sense of justice for those who were less able to speak up than him. He took part in many of our initiatives such as training other people with learning disabilities to campaign or talking about day centre closures. This picture shows James at a 2011 protest in Glasgow about cuts to support services.
James often told the story about how after his parents died it was the help of Key Community Supports that saved his life. He was slowly fading away in the family home, when he was offered support from Key. He told us this gave his life new purpose and he would always find ways of paying them back by supporting their work and challenging those were undermining social care.
The world is a poorer place for the passing of James. Rest In Peace, Friend.