By Raya Al Jadir A tiny proportion of disabled peo

first_imgBy Raya Al JadirA tiny proportion of disabled people with the neurological condition ME are receiving the social care they could be entitled to, according to a “shocking” new report from a charity.Action for ME surveyed 850 people with ME* (myalgic encephalomyelitis), and found 97 per cent of them could be entitled to state-funded care and support, but only six per cent had been given a care package by their local authority, while only 16 per cent had been given an assessment of their needs.The report, Close to Collapse, will form the basis for a formal inquiry led by the charity and supported by the all party parliamentary group on ME, which will examine the challenges faced by people with ME and chronic fatigue syndrome in accessing support.The report also found failings in provision of advocacy support for people with ME, with nearly four in five of those who responded to the survey not having access to an advocate.Action for ME is now seeking funding to establish a national advocacy service.One survey respondent**, who lives in the south-east of England, told the charity that the “mental strain” of having to undergo two separate hour-long assessments – the second one had been ordered after her original social worker left and was replaced by a student on a placement – had left her “broken” and in “severe physical pain”, and failed to address the problems she faced.She said: “I was told that any help I got would have to be paid for myself, out of DLA [disability living allowance]. The sum total of social services assistance amounted to fitting safety grab rails.“I feel very badly let down. I don’t have the strength to organise anything for myself, so I am just struggling through doing what little I can.“I manage to wash or bath about twice a month. My house is filthy and I am smelly. My meals are limited to the most simple, mostly microwave-ready meals. At times this makes me suicidal.”The disabled researcher and campaigner Catherine Hale, the report’s lead author, said: “Many of the individuals who shared their experiences with us have been left feeling truly desperate by the lack of support available to them.“The difficulties they face in engaging with the assessment process because of their disabling symptoms, and the lack of education about the condition among social care professionals, is a double whammy.”Sonya Chowdhury, chief executive of Action for ME, added: “People with ME are being left isolated and neglected by this shocking failure to provide the social care support to which they are entitled.“Those most severely affected by the condition – around a quarter of people with ME – are house- or bed-bound, and for them the situation is truly dire.”Disability News Service asked the Department of Health (pictured) to comment, but it had not responded by 7pm today (12 November).*ME is a long-term, chronic, fluctuating illness that causes symptoms affecting many body systems, particularly the nervous and immune systems**It is not known whether the respondent was male or femalelast_img read more

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The Conservative minister for care services turned

first_imgThe Conservative minister for care services turned down at least four invitations to speak about adult social care at her party’s annual conference, while disabled people and other experts warned those meetings about the funding crisis facing the system.Jackie Doyle-Price refused to attend at least four social care fringe meetings at the conference in Manchester, Disability News Service has established.Health secretary Jeremy Hunt also ignored the issue of social care in his conference speech.Those who spoke at the fringe meetings Doyle-Price snubbed lined up to warn of the crisis facing the social care system, with one Tory MP warning that it “simply isn’t good enough” and that many people were “not getting the care they need”.In August, the UK government was told it was “going backwards” on independent living by the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities.Last week, Barbara Keeley, shadow minister for social care and mental health, told Labour’s annual conference that nearly half a million fewer people are receiving publicly-funded social care compared with when the Conservatives came to office in 2010.And a survey of social workers in England by Community Care magazine and the Care and Support Alliance found that more than two-thirds felt they were expected to cut people’s care packages because of local authority funding pressures, while more than a quarter were not confident that the reduced care packages they had to oversee were “fair and safe”.Vicky Buckingham (pictured, at the conference), from Learning Disability England, who attended some of the social care fringe meetings at the conference, told Disability News Service (DNS): “Has [Doyle-Price] got something to hide?“You have got nothing to worry about if you have got nothing to hide. If she had nothing to hide and was prepared to be open and honest, she would come here and be answerable.”Buckingham told one meeting that services were only being provided to disabled people with substantial or critical needs.She said: “If you have low to moderate needs it’s ‘on your way’. If you look at the person before they need substantial or critical then you save money. Win-win.”One of the fringe events Doyle-Price was invited to had been organised by Dimensions, which provides support to people with learning difficulties.Alicia Wood, Dimensions’ head of public affairs, said afterwards: “It was noted last night that the minister for social care had not come to any of the social care events and it was noted by the people how disappointed they were.“The government have said they are going to put out a social care green paper.“You would expect the party conference is the place where they really would be consulting on that with their members and organisations like us.”Mark Lever, chief executive of the National Autistic Society, said, after a Care and Support Alliance fringe meeting that Doyle-Price declined to attend: “It is disappointing that she wasn’t here to hear what I thought was a really positive discussion.”A colleague of Lever said Doyle-Price had agreed to attend a private meeting with representatives of the alliance in Westminster.Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, which represents care providers and was another organisation that invited Doyle-Price to a fringe meeting that she declined to attend, told DNS that ministers “need to engage with this debate and they need to get out and hear the voices of the public”.Doyle-Price also turned down an invitation to speak at a social care fringe event organised by the New Local Government Network thinktank.Tory MP Helen Whateley told the Care England meeting that the social care system “simply isn’t good enough”, with “many people not getting the care they need”, and she said that it was vital that “more money goes into social care”.Professor Green said the system was “completely at breaking point”.And Neil Heslop, the disabled chief executive of Leonard Cheshire Disability, told another fringe event, organised by the thinktank Bright Blue – which Doyle-Price had not been invited to – that the word crisis had been overused and devalued in other areas of society, and added: “We genuinely have a crisis on our hands.”He said there appeared to be agreement among “responsible” politicians on most of the core issues that had to be addressed, but the critical factor was the need for a cross-party approach.He said the failure to find a solution was a “failure of political leadership”.Professor Richard Humphries, who leads on social care for the King’s Fund, told the Bright Blue fringe event that it was hard to see how a solution would be possible without a cross-party approach, because of the political “weaponisation” of social care.He said the social care system was currently “rudderless” and without a long-term plan it would continue to “lurch from one crisis to the next”.Meanwhile, at one of the fringe meetings Doyle-Price failed to attend this week, the campaign organisation 38 Degrees released figures from a survey carried out just days earlier, in which 95,000 of its members had taken part.More than 90 per cent of them (91 per cent) said social care should be free at the point of use for most or all people, while 86 per cent still agreed with that statement even if they would have to pay more tax to fund such a policy.The Conservative party had failed to comment on Doyle-Price’s refusal to attend the fringe meetings by noon today (Thursday).last_img read more

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RYAN Morgan enjoyed his first hit out in the Red V

first_imgRYAN Morgan enjoyed his first hit out in the Red V and getting the two points against Leeds.The centre made his first grade debut for the club in the 6-4 win over the Rhinos.“It was a physical game,” he said. “There was a lot of intent out there from both sides and the crowd was good too. It had a real semi-final feel about it.“It was clear that everyone wants to play for each other and that will carry us a bit further. It was a bit frantic at times and we had to scramble but it will be good for us going forward.“The defensive structure here makes it easy for someone to come in. It works if you buy into what the boys are doing; your mates are there to cover you if you make a mistake.“I made a hiccup in the corner against Leeds which was my fault, but I will get that fixed up for the next game.”Ryan’s versatility was tested early into his Saints career as he moved out to the wing after Jonny Lomax went off with concussion.“I haven’t played on the wing for a long time but you have to do what is good for the team,” he continued. “It was a scrappy game and we aren’t happy with how we played. But its early days and we got the two points.”Saints are next in action when they travel to Leigh next Friday (Feb 24) before hosting Wakefield (March 3) a week later.Tickets for these fixtures are now on sale from the Ticket Office, online and via 01744 455 052.last_img read more

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